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Iowa organizations join forces to offer personalized cancer care

IOWA CITY – The John Paul II Medical Research Institute (JP2MRI) of Iowa City has announced partnering with Cellular Engineering Technologies, Inc. (CET), a biotechnology company based in Coralville, Iowa, to help deliver personalized medical care and research to cancer patients.

CET is a leader in non-embryonic, adult stem cell technology whose mission is to decrease the cost and increase the efficiency of drug development. CET is partnering with JP2MRI to create a new paradigm in cancer diagnosis, treatment and drug development.

Cellular Engineering Technologies was founded by Dr. Alan Moy, a physician-scientist with expertise in stem cell technology and cancer biology. Dr. Alan Moy, also the founder of JP2MRI, is a pulmonologist who practices through Pulmonary Associates at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City.

“Cancer patients are subjected to some of the greatest challenges in healthcare,” Dr. Moy explained. “Chemotherapy has only modestly improved the five-year survival rate by two percent for adult solid cancers. Genetic testing has been widely pursued to improve diagnostic testing and treatment but there are major deficiencies in such technology.”

CET has developed novel technology that allows the company to purify and grow cancer cells, which can ultimately be used to directly test chemotherapy and create cancer vaccines.

Fresh tissue samples from Mercy Hospital of Iowa City are presently sent to CET for developing a personalized “cancer in a dish” subject for drug testing.

Personalized cancer cells from patients can be subjected to current and emerging chemotherapy drugs to determine which drugs are effective or ineffective and at what specific doses for treatment.

This technological ability has the potential to eliminate the risk that a patient will be subjected to chemotherapeutic drugs that may be ineffective at treating their specific cancer and could reduce the risk of drug toxicity through appropriate dosing of various chemotherapeutic drugs.

The John Paul II Medical Research Institute is a secular, prolife, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was founded to help find cures and therapies by translating medical research into clinical care.

According to Jay Kamath, the CEO of JP2MRI, the objective of this partnership is to create a new paradigm in healthcare and medical research by creating a comprehensive and integrated approach in patient care, clinical research and drug development.

“As part of this partnership, the Institute will serve as the gatekeeper for recruiting patients and coordinate clinical treatment and medical research,” he said.

Kamath stated there is a narrow window for cancer patients to benefit from the program.
“Patients who are anticipating cancer surgery or diagnostic biopsies should contact the institute and be further evaluated,” he said.

Patients who are interested in providing their tissue or tumor specimens and become involved in the Institute’s research efforts may call the John Paul II Medical Research Institute at (319) 688-7367.

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