World’s Largest Precision Cancer Research Collaboration Founded by Moffitt and Ohio State Adds Four New Members

February 23, 2015

TAMPA, Fla., and COLUMBUS, Ohio – A novel research partnership anchored by two of North America’s leading cancer centers, Moffitt Cancer Center and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James), today announced the addition of four  nationally recognized cancer centers, bringing its membership to six and extending the national oncology network from coast to coast.

The new members of the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN) include:

The addition of the new ORIEN members is expected to exponentially increase the number of patients consenting to donate their tissue and clinical data – including corresponding genomic data – for research to understand cancer at the molecular level, with the goal of developing more targeted cancer treatments.

Additional nationally designated cancer centers are in the process of joining ORIEN, where partners share de-identified data to accelerate the development of targeted treatments, allowing researchers and clinicians to more quickly match eligible patients to clinical trials and conduct larger and richer analyses.

ORIEN personifies “big data” – extensive databases with cancer patient information (medical history, cancer tissue, DNA) that can be used for basic research and clinical trials – that puts cancer genomics on the leading edge of precision medicine.

A Growing Partnership and A National Priority
ORIEN is expanding just as the national spotlight is focused on the promise of precision medicine. President Obama revealed his plan to invest in precision medicine during his State of the Union speech, and on Jan. 30 unveiled the $215 million initiative.

“The growth of ORIEN coincides with President Obama’s announcement and the recognition that molecularly targeted medicine holds tremendous promise for all disease, particularly cancer,” said Michael Caligiuri, MD, director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. “We believe ORIEN illustrates a collaborative pathway to operationalize personalized medicine to help discover cures for more patients.”

“With the addition of City of Hope, UVA Cancer Center, the CU Cancer Center and UNM Cancer Center, more than 50,000 new patients each year will have the opportunity to consent to donate their tissue and clinical data to the ORIEN network, and potentially be matched with ongoing clinical research with the most potential to help them,” said Thomas Sellers, PhD, MPH, center director and executive vice president of Moffitt. “Each of these renowned National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers will enhance our collaborative model, which greatly reduces the amount of time required to conduct clinical trials.”

“Rapidly evolving science and modern diagnostics are moving the field of cancer research and cures forward, but it’s not something one institution can accomplish on its own,” said Steven T. Rosen, MD, provost and chief scientific officer for City of Hope and director of the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center. “City of Hope is proud to partner with Moffitt, the OSUCCC-James and the new ORIEN members to share data, collaborate and to ultimately change the cancer treatment model.”

“UVA Cancer Center is excited and privileged to join this group of NCI-designated cancer centers as we all work together to improve cancer care for our patients,” said Thomas P. Loughran, Jr. MD, director of UVA Cancer Center.

“ORIEN will greatly leverage the investments in precision medicine we have made at the CU Cancer Center and will accelerate and facilitate innovation by our faculty for the benefit of our patients in Colorado and beyond,” said Dr. Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, director of the CU Cancer Center.

“The University of New Mexico Cancer Center is thrilled to join Moffitt Cancer Center, OSUCCC-James, and our new ORIEN consortium partners,” said Dr. Cheryl Willman, director and CEO of the UNM Cancer Center. “Through ORIEN, we will ensure that the multiethnic, multicultural populations of New Mexico and the American Southwest, primarily Hispanic, non-Hispanic White, and American Indian, will benefit from new personalized cancer medicine initiatives.  In turn, the inclusion of our patients may allow ORIEN to uncover unique cancer-causing mutations and mechanisms associated with the distinct patterns of cancer incidence, mortality, and disparity that affect minority and special populations.”

City of Hope and the UVA, CU and UNM cancer centers will adopt Total Cancer Care®, the protocol created by Moffitt in 2006 and now in use at the OSUCCC-James. The protocol creates a standard system for tracking patient molecular, clinical and epidemiological data. Consented patients are followed throughout their lifetime and agree to be contacted for future studies, playing an active role in the study of their cancer and improving care for future generations.

A Link Between Academia and Industry
M2Gen®, a subsidiary of Moffitt, serves as ORIEN’s operational and commercial provider for support, bringing expertise in data management and informatics. ORIEN’s approach to clinical trial matching presents a significant opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to modernize trial recruitment and facilitate adaptive clinical trial design.

Through M2Gen, industry researchers are able to match their targeted drugs to participating patients within ORIEN cancer center members based on their molecular profile, promoting greater clinical trial precision and flexibility.  Ultimately, researchers are better equipped to identify potential candidates for their drug trials, leading to better outcomes.  ORIEN also creates the ability to accelerate and improve efficiencies of clinical trials and the drug approval process, including post-market surveillance. 

“M2Gen® will facilitate what we view as the ideal way to conduct cancer research and help patients – an approach that promotes collaborative learning at all levels,” said William S. Dalton, PhD, MD, president and CEO of M2Gen. “Our goal with all members of ORIEN is to connect patients to the best treatment options, including clinical trials, by accelerating the discovery and delivery of precision medicine.”

The ORIEN collaborative continues to seek partnerships with other leading cancer centers in North America. More information may be found at

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Located in Tampa, Moffitt is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the top-ranked cancer hospital in the Southeast and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer care since 1999. With more than 4,500 employees, Moffitt has an economic impact in Florida of nearly $1.6 billion. For more information, visit, and follow the Moffitt momentum on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

About The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only four centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials on novel anticancer drugs. As the cancer program’s 306-bed adult patient-care component, The James is one of the top cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S. News & World Report and has achieved Magnet designation, the highest honor an organization can receive for quality patient care and professional nursing practice. At 21 floors with more than 1.1 million square feet, The James is a transformational facility that fosters collaboration and integration of cancer research and clinical cancer care. For more information, please visit

About City of Hope
City of Hope is a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the nation. City of Hope’s main hospital is located in Duarte, Calif., just northeast of Los Angeles, with community clinics in southern California. It is ranked as one of “America's Best Hospitals” in cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation and genetics.

About UVA Cancer Center
UVA Cancer Center is accredited by the Commission on Cancer and is one of 68 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in the U.S. for its work in cancer research, prevention, detection and treatment. UVA Cancer Center provides comprehensive, world-class cancer treatment in an environment of caring for patients across Virginia, led by doctors who have been honored by publications such as Best Doctors in America® and America’s Top Doctors®.

About the UNM Cancer Center
The UNM Cancer Center is the Official Cancer Center of New Mexico and the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center in the state. One of just 68 premier NCI-Designated Cancer Centers nationwide, the UNM Cancer Center is recognized for its scientific excellence; contributions to cancer research; delivery of high quality, state of the art cancer diagnosis and treatment to all New Mexicans; and its community outreach programs statewide. Annual federal and private funding of more than $72 million supports the UNM Cancer Center’s research programs. The UNM Cancer Center treats more than 60 percent of the adults and virtually all of the children in New Mexico affected by cancer, from every county in the state. It is home to New Mexico’s largest team of board-certified oncology physicians and research scientists, representing every cancer specialty and hailing from prestigious institutions such as M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, and the Mayo Clinic. Through its partnership with Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces, the UNM Cancer Center brings world-class cancer care to the southern part of the state; its collaborative clinical programs in Santa Fe and Farmington serve northern New Mexico and it is developing new collaborative programs in Alamogordo and in Roswell/Carlsbad. The UNM Cancer Center also supports several community outreach programs to make cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment available to every New Mexican. Learn more at

About University of Colorado Cancer Center
The University of Colorado Cancer Center, located at the Anschutz Medical Campus, is Colorado’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, a distinction recognizing its outstanding contributions to research, clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. CU Cancer Center’s clinical partner for adult care, University of Colorado Hospital is ranked 15th by US News and World Report for Cancer and Children’s Hospital Colorado is ranked 9th by the same organization. The CU Cancer Center is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network®, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers working to establish and deliver the gold standard in cancer clinical guidelines. CU Cancer Center is a consortium of more than 400 researchers and physicians at three state universities and three clinical institutions, all working toward one goal: Translating science into life. For more information visit and follow CU Cancer Center on Facebook and Twitter.

About M2Gen®
M2Gen® is Moffitt Cancer Center’s wholly owned, for-profit, informatics solution subsidiary advancing personalized medicine by using high quality tissue, clinical data and molecular technology to accelerate the discovery and delivery of personalized medicine.  Using a rapid learning approach, the goal of M2Gen is to accelerate the science of precision medicine by creating evidence and knowledge-based solutions that identify a patient’s susceptibility to disease, predict how the patient will respond to a particular drug, and match patients to the best therapies for an optimal treatment outcome. M2Gen, along with Moffitt and partnering community hospitals, has created a large, cancer-focused, biorepository linked to clinical and molecular data. For more information, visit