Sanford Health genomic medicine comes to Ireland

Cancer patients in Ireland will soon will have access to a clinical initiative and a team of experts from Sanford Health to help physicians determine the best treatment options for them.

Eamon Fitzgerald
Eamon Fitzgerald

The genomic medicine program at Sanford Health is expanding this through collaboration with the Hermitage Medical Clinic in Ireland.

“As part of its strategic intent in the development of research and innovation, the Hermitage Medical Clinic has signed a collaboration agreement on Genomic Cancer Testing with Sanford Health, one of the largest health systems in the world. Through this collaboration we are now able to bring patients, in Ireland, a world-class Genomic Cancer Testing service,” said its Chief Executive, Eamonn Fitzgerald.

“This is part of the Sanford Health Worldwide Clinics program to bring world class expertise in diagnostic and treatment opportunities to patients via strategic clinical partnerships in chosen countries around the globe,” he said.

Physicians from Ireland will open a clinical initiative that explores how genomic profiling of tumours might help improve treatment options for patients with advanced or rare forms of cancer. The initiative is modelled after Sanford Health’s GEMMA and COMPASS studies.

“This is just another way we are trying to make a difference around the world,” said Jonathon Bleeker, M.D., an oncologist with Sanford Health. “Our ability to collaborate with the providers who treat patients at this clinic will help advance treatment options in Ireland.”

In addition, physicians in Ireland will present results to and discuss findings with the Sanford Health Genomic Tumor Board utilizing real-time videoconference technology. The board is a team of experts with experience in cancer and genetics that develops personalized care plans for individual patients and uses genomic testing results as a component.

The two organizations entered into a collaborative agreement in December 2017 as part of an expansion of Sanford World Clinic, Sanford Health’s international health care arm, which is in nine countries with more than 30 locations in an effort to foster partnerships with health care leaders in the development of sustainable services around the world.

The agreement establishes a clinical research office to extend precision oncology services in Ireland through a clinical research protocol modelled around similar initiatives conducted by Sanford Research in the United States.

The agreement with Ireland was part of a larger announcement where Sanford World Clinic also expanded into New Zealand, Vietnam, Costa Rica and South Africa. Sanford already has clinics in Ghana and China and owns a minority stake in a clinic in Munich, Germany.Sanford Health is one of the largest health care systems in the nation, with 44 hospitals and nearly 300 clinics in nine states and nine countries. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and serving the Upper Midwest, with nearly 1,400 physicians, Sanford Health is dedicated to several initiatives, including global clinics, genomic medicine and specialized centers researching cures for type 1 diabetes, breast cancer and other diseases. Sanford Health has 28,000 employees, making it the largest employer in the Dakotas. Nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford over the past decade have transformed how Sanford Health can improve the human condition.

The Hermitage Medical Clinic is a 112-bed, full-service, private hospital in Lucan, West Dublin. Specialized teams provide medical, surgical and advanced radiotherapy care to patients and are supported by the latest medical technology. The Hermitage Medical Clinic has the most advanced diagnostic imaging equipment available today and full cardiological facilities, including a cardiac catheterization suite and clinical laboratory services. The Hermitage Medical Clinic provides a comprehensive surgical, medical and radiation oncology service through its multidisciplinary team. Other surgical specialties include orthopaedic, neurosurgery, colorectal, urology, breast and gynaecology.