HOPA 2018 | Molecular testing at the Moffitt Cancer Center

Christine Walko

In this interview, Christine Walko, PharmD, BCOP, FCCP, of the Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, speaks about the Moffitt Cancer Centre and their patients. Dr Walko then describes how they implemented molecular testing at the center. This video was recorded at the 2018 Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) Annual Conference, held in Denver, CO.

Transcript (edited for clarity):

Moffitt Cancer Center is the third largest cancer center in the country and we are located in Tampa, Florida. We have a lot of retirees and a large portion of our population happens to be a little bit older. We are very fortunate to have support from the state as well as the community in the form of individual donors and group donors, as well as the state of Florida who strongly supports us. So, we are a little bit different than many of the cancer centers or cancer hospitals that are associated with a university: we are a standalone non-profit institution.

In 2014, I was recruited to come down to work with a team of people to help develop how we would handle doing molecular testing of tumors at Moffitt Cancer Center. We collaborated very closely with our pathology colleagues, our bioinformatics colleagues and developed a workflow of receiving all of the personalized medicine reports from the different outside vendors as well as our own internal panels. We review them every week. We review about 20 to 30 cases a week and we discuss those cases. The complex cases will go to our official molecular tumor board, which is called the Clinical Genomics Action Committee. Ultimately, we form a treatment recommendation, we turn that into a patient consult that gets documented into the patient’s medical record, it is discussed with the physician and the patient, and then we will also assist with getting off-label drug therapy or trying to connect a patient with a clinical trial as is appropriate.

To facilitate all this, we created a database with the help of a bioinformatics colleague. So, every patient and all of the individual genetic mutations and their allele frequencies or copy numbers are all loaded into our database so that you can easily search out by a patient, or if I want to look at all the lung cancer patients who have a certain mutation, or if I just want to look all across our database to see what are the most common mutations that we’ve seen, we can do that in just a few seconds. The database has all of our patients that go back to mid-2013 and we have about 3200 patients in our database right now, encompassing those solid tumor patients as well as malignant hematology patients.

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21st March 2018