Today, Providence Health & Services announced that Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a physician, surgeon and scientist known globally for applying collaborative science and technology to improve the health of patients battling life-threatening disease, will serve as the health care system's new global director for cancer services and bioinformatics.
In this role, Dr. Soon-Shiong will work closely with oncology clinicians and researchers across the five-state Providence system to ensure that every member of the communities served by Providence – especially the poor and vulnerable – has access to the most promising cancer treatment options in the world.
Dr. Soon-Shiong, through his Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine, and Providence also announced today their partnership to create the country's first clinical genomic network for whole genomic sequencing. Together, they have installed an Illumina HiSeq X Ten sequencing system, to establish the first CLIA-approved clinical facility to drive molecular decisions for cancer patients.
Providence will be the first health care system that will use the sequencing system, giving the most comprehensive view of each patient's disease available to date. The HiSeq X Ten is the world's first platform to deliver population-scale whole genome sequencing, and is capable of sequencing thousands of samples annually with high quality.
Oncologists currently prescribe a course of cancer treatment based on the anatomical location of the cancer. Dr. Soon-Shiong's recent execution of rapid analysis of more than 10,000 tumor and germline whole exomes or genomes, representing more than 6,000 patients across 20 different tumor types, demonstrated that the molecular signature of a cancer patient is independent of the anatomical tumor type. These findings are in stark contrast to widely held medical assumptions.
These findings have the ability to vastly improve treatment recommendations because they suggest that a hypothetical breast cancer patient could potentially have more in common with a lung cancer patient than another person with the same "type" of cancer.
"Our opportunity is to fundamentally change how cancer is treated," said Dr. Rod Hochman, president and CEO of Providence. "No longer will cancer treatment be guided simply by a diagnosis. With the leadership of Dr. Soon-Shiong and the many leading oncology clinicians and researchers across our five-state organization, we will have a vast amount of genetic information, technology and science to pinpoint the best care and possible outcomes for patients."
Dr. Soon-Shiong is based in Los Angeles and is the founder and CEO of NantHealth, where he has developed breakthrough treatments for cancer and diabetes. He has led the development of a supercomputer-based system and network that can analyze the genetic data from a tumor sample in 47 seconds and transfer the data in 18 seconds. He is also a professor of microbiology, immunology, molecular genetics and bioengineering at the University of California Los Angeles.
"We are living our commitment to clinicians and patients alike," said Dr. Soon-Shiong. "Using the most advanced, most sophisticated tools imaginable today, we are on a mission to solve the mystery of cancer and establish an adaptive learning system where the power of one can inform many. Partnering with Providence and the many clinicians treating cancer patients across its five-state system will dramatically advance how we care for people facing cancer."
Currently, Providence and its affiliates care for more than 25,000 new cancer patients annually with nearly 100,000 patients under active treatment or observation.
"With Dr. Soon-Shiong's experience and knowledge, we will continue to make the most promising advances in genomics medicine much more accessible to everyone, especially those in need ," said Dr. Randy Axelrod, executive vice president, Providence Clinical and Patient Services. "Our focus is always on helping more people access high quality, affordable care."
About Providence Health & Services
Providence Health & Services is a not-for-profit Catholic health care ministry committed to providing for the needs of the communities it serves – especially for those who are poor and vulnerable. Providence's services include 34 hospitals, 447 physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing, hospice, home health and many other health and educational services. The health system and its affiliates employs more than 74,000 people across five states – Alaska, California, Montana, Oregon and Washington – with its system office located in Renton, Washington. In 2013, Providence provided more than $951 million in community benefit, including $313 million in free and discounted care for those who could not afford to pay for care. Providence Health & Services continues a tradition of caring that the Sisters of Providence began more than 158 years ago.
About Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong has lent vision, voice and action to the power of convergence – applying the limitless potential of collaborative science and technology on a personal level. A physician, surgeon and scientist, he has pioneered treatments for both diabetes and cancer, published more than 100 scientific papers, and over 95 issued patents on groundbreaking advancements across a myriad of fields.
Dr. Soon-Shiong performed the world's first encapsulated human islet transplant and the first pig-to-man islet cell transplant in diabetic patients. He invented and developed Abraxane, the nation's first FDA-approved protein nanoparticle albumin-bound delivery technology for the treatment of cancer, doubling the response rate in patients. Abraxane is now FDA approved for metastatic breast cancer in 2005 and lung cancer in 2012. In 2013, the FDA approved Abraxane for pancreatic cancer and the drug has made significant and measurable improvements in melanoma – cancers for which there have been no advancements in 20 years.
Dr. Soon-Shiong serves as chairman of the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation; chairman and CEO of the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute for Advanced Health (the CSS Institute); the Healthcare Transformation Institute; and NantWorks, LLC – a company whose mission is to converge semiconductor technology, supercomputing, advanced networks, and proven innovation to revolutionize how we work, live and play. He currently co-chairs the CEO Council for Health and Innovation at the Bipartisan Policy Center and is a member of the Global Advisory Board of Bank of America.
Among his many positions, Dr. Soon-Shiong is the executive director of the UCLA Wireless Health Institute and a board member of the California Telehealth Network. The Los Angeles Business Journal has recognized him as their Business Person of the Year, and the Friends of the National Library of Medicine honored him with their Distinguished Medical Science Award. In 2013, the Los Angeles County Medical Association recognized Dr. Soon-Shiong with the Healthcare Champion of the Year Award. He was also awarded with the Treasure of Los Angeles Award by the business community of Los Angeles.
About The Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine
The institute is a 501c(3) nonprofit medical research organization focused on transforming medical practice by facilitating digital molecular diagnosis. IOMM is building a public private coalition dedicated to working with health care, academic, government, and private sector partners to enable evidence based and molecularly driven, clinical decisions.
NantHealth is a transformational health care company converging science and technology through a single integrated clinical platform. Through the convergence of cloud-based supercomputers, intelligent sensors, machine to machine wireless interconnectivity, artificial intelligence and federated secure grid computing, NantHealth has launched the next generation advanced population health management system. The company's platform empowers physicians, patients, payers and researchers to transcend the traditional barriers of today's health care system.
Illumina is a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of life science tools and integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and function. Illumina provides innovative sequencing and array-based solutions for genotyping, copy number variation analysis, methylation studies, gene expression profiling and low-multiplex analysis of DNA, RNA and protein. Illumina also provides tools and services that are fueling advances in consumer genomics and diagnostics. Our technology and products accelerate genetic analysis research and its applications, paving the way for molecular medicine and ultimately transforming health care.