Fort Myers, Fla., September 6, 2022 — Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, LLC (FCS) celebrated the addition of genomic testing capabilities at its Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) laboratory in Fort Myers last week with a ribbon cutting ceremony. This advanced form of genetic testing can detect oncogenic mutations in hundreds of different genes derived from tumor cells simultaneously. The data enables physicians providing care at the statewide practice’s nearly 100 locations to make faster diagnoses of a wide range of cancers and provide recommendations for personalized therapies and clinical trials options based on each patient’s results. NGS capabilities were first launched at the centralized laboratory location in October 2021.
FCS Chief Executive Officer Nathan H. Walcker said, “We have been successful in building the fundamental infrastructure that includes the necessary technologies, a dedicated team of clinical experts, and critical partnerships with global technology and software leaders in NGS testing that will carry us far into the future as innovations in this space continue to evolve and advance.”
“With the addition of the extensive genomic testing capabilities that are now available at this facility, we can say with confidence that every patient who entrusts their care to FCS has access to the most advanced treatment, targeted for their unique genetic makeup, enabling them to attain the very best and most positive outcomes possible,” said FCS President & Managing Physician Michael Diaz, MD. “This is truly the foundation of precision oncology.”
FCS Chief Medical Officer of Therapeutics & Analytics Lucio Gordan, MD, who championed the practice’s in-house NGS testing added, “ FCS is fueling this forward momentum with ongoing initiatives to analyze and leverage genomic data to advance cancer care, improve cure rates and enhance the patient experience.”
Jennifer Gass, PhD, Associate Director of the FCS Genetics Laboratory, acknowledged the NGS laboratory team that includes a dedicated laboratory geneticist, hematopathologists, molecular pathologists, scientists, technicians and clinical support staff, led by Pathology Laboratory Co-directors Ryan Olson, MD and Wilfredo Blasini, MD, FACP. “We are able to provide world-class care because we have world-class talent,” Gass said, “Our highly-skilled cancer experts play an integral role in the treatment process by helping to inform and direct the very best care plan and clinical outcome for every patient we serve.”
Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson and representatives from vendor partners, including Illumina, PierianDx and several others, joined FCS executive leaders, physicians, clinicians and team members for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
About Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, LLC: (FLCancer.com)
Recognized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) with a national Clinical Trials Participation Award, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) offers patients access to more clinical trials than any private oncology practice in Florida. The majority of new cancer drugs recently approved for use in the U.S. were studied in clinical trials with Florida Cancer Specialists participation.* Trained in prestigious medical schools and research institutes, our physicians are consistently ranked nationally as Top Doctors by U.S. News & World Report.
Founded in 1984, Florida Cancer Specialists has built a national reputation for excellence that is reflected in exceptional and compassionate patient care, driven by innovative clinical research, cutting-edge technologies and advanced treatments, including targeted therapies, genomic-based treatment, and immunotherapy. Our highest values are embodied by our outstanding team of highly trained and dedicated physicians, clinicians and staff.
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