AP NEWS

Chemo test matches patients with best treatments at CHH

April 13, 2019

HUNTINGTON — A new approach to matching cancer patients to their best possible chemotherapy treatments is now in use at Cabell Huntington Hospital’s Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Known as ChemoID, the test screens both cancer stem-like cells and bulk tumor cells to allow physicians to identify the most effective drug or drugs for each specific patient’s case.

Drugs are sometimes not as effective on different cases, and the test allows doctors to personalize the course of treatment for the best possible fit prior to chemotherapy, according to a news release from the hospital.

The test works by taking a small sample from a patient’s tumor and uses it to grow bulk tumor cells and cancer stem cells, explained Dr. Anthony Alberico, neurosurgeon and medical director of the Cabell Huntington Hospital Back & Spine Center.

Alberico also is professor and chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

ChemoID tests standard chemotherapies on the patient’s cancer cells in the lab, allowing for the best fit to be identified before actual treatment — minimizing unnecessary trial and error during the already-uncomfortable treatment process.

“This process allows the drugs to be used on the cancer cells and not the patient. It can lead to faster and more dramatic positive results,” Alberico explained.

“ChemoID can also help patients by eliminating unnecessary and ineffective chemotherapies prior to administering treatment.”

ChemoID was developed by former Marshall University biomedical sciences researcher Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio and Jagan Valluri, former professor of cellular biology and integrative medicine at Marshall University, with much of the research completed at the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“This process allows the drugs to be used on the cancer cells and not the patient. It can lead to faster and more dramatic positive results.”

Dr. Anthony Alberico