Avera launching landmark lung cancer study

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - Avera Health is launching a new clinical trial as part of an international collaboration to study lung cancer.

It's called the Survival Prolongation by Rationale Innovative Genomics (SPRING) trial, and patients can now enroll in the project, Avera Health officials announced Friday morning.

Avera is taking part in the trial as part of its membership in the Worldwide Innovative Networking (WIN) Consortium, according to Benjamin Solomon, MD, the lead investigator for the study at Avera.

Solomon said the goal of the study is to improve treatment options for lung cancer patients after diagnosis.

According to Avera Health, More than 60 percent of non-small cell lung cancer cases are detected in an advanced stage, and less than 5 percent of these patients are alive five years after diagnosis.

Solomon said the study will examine how patients respond to series of drug treatment options. Researchers will study how the treatment effects the cancer at a genetic level, with the goal of developing an algorithm that will allow doctors to develop personalized treatment programs for patients based on their genetic profile.

If this program is successful, researchers say it the treatment algorithm could also potentially be used for other tumors, such as colon or breast cancer.

The SPRING trial will be launched in five countries and eight WIN member sites. Avera, one of two sites in the U.S., is the first to begin enrolling patients.