Dr. George Sledge Joins Caris Life Sciences as CMO

On October 14, 2022, Caris Life Sciences announced that George Sledge, MD has joined the company as Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. In this role, Dr. Sledge will have oversight for medical affairs, research, and medical education at Caris, including oversight and leadership for the Caris Precision Oncology Alliance™ led by Dr. Chadi Nabhan, and Caris’ global team of Medical Science Liaisons.

“I am very pleased to join Caris at such an exciting time for the company,” said Dr. Sledge. “Caris remains at the cutting edge of precision medicine innovation and has developed the leading platform for molecular profiling and research in the industry. I’m excited to join the company to partner with other leading medical professionals inside and outside of the company to use these tools and insights to find new treatments and cures for cancer.” Read more.

Caris POA Welcomes Six New Members

Since our last issue of Caris Connection, six new members have joined the Caris POA: Indiana University, St. Luke’s University, The University of Tennessee, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Iowa, and the Cleveland Clinic. With the addition of each new member, we get closer to our goal of building the foremost precision medicine focused research network in the world. We continue to bring together the brightest minds in academic research, community care and clinical R&D to deliver greater molecular science solutions in an effort to improve the lives of cancer patients. To view the press release of each new member, please click on any of the links below:

Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center: Established in 1992, the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center is Indiana’s sole National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center. Its nearly 300 researchers conduct all phases of cancer research, from laboratory studies to clinical trials to population-based studies that address environmental and behavioral factors that contribute to cancer. Read more.

St. Luke’s University Health Network: Founded in 1872 as its area’s first community hospital, St. Luke’s University Health Network is today a regional, non-profit, fully integrated, nationally-recognized network of more than 17,000 employees providing services to over one million people at 14 campuses and 300+ outpatient sites in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Read more.

The Cancer Institute at The University of Tennessee Medical Center: UTMC, a Magnet® recognized hospital, Level I Trauma Center and regional academic medical center, serves as a major referral center for East Tennessee, Southeast Kentucky and Western North Carolina. As the largest provider of cancer care in the region, the Cancer Institute offers the broadest spectrum of cancer specialists and services to care for the local adult population, with research as its cornerstone of knowledge. Read more

VCU Massey Cancer Center: Founded in 1974, Massey is the only cancer center in the Richmond metropolitan region and the first of only two in the state designated by the National Cancer Institute, placing it among the top four percent of cancer centers in the country. Read more.

University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center: The Holden Cancer Center is Iowa’s only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, and has held that designation since 2000. Nearly 1,200 staff and cancer center members, including faculty from 41 academic departments, collaborate to drive Holden’s research, education, and patient-care missions.
Read more

Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center: Ranked #6 for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report, the Cleveland Clinic’s cancer center has more than 700 physicians, researchers, nurses and technicians providing access to a wide range of clinical trials as well as support programs to help patients navigate the challenges associated with a cancer diagnosis. Read more.

RECAP: 2022 SABCS and the Caris POA

At this year’s San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), Caris and the Caris Precision Oncology Alliance presented findings from three POA collaborations. One of the studies, “Genomic and Transcriptomic Landscape of HER2-Low Breast Cancer,” was selected for presentation at a special session on HER2-low. This study leveraged Caris’ industry-leading next generation sequencing technology and expansive real-world clinico-genomic database to analyze data from almost 20,000 breast cancer samples and derive molecular insights with potential therapeutic value.

In addition, Caris presented two other posters that demonstrated the critical role of comprehensive molecular profiling in providing prognostic and therapeutic insights to guide breast cancer treatment. “Prevalence and Prognosis of ER-Loss in Advanced Invasive Lobular Carcinoma” reported that, based on analysis of data from over 20,000 patients, estrogen receptor (ER) loss occurs in around one in ten cases of invasive lobular carcinoma and is associated with poor prognosis. “Clock Genes in Breast Cancer” showed that altered expression of genes controlling circadian rhythms is strongly associated with breast cancer subtype and survival, and that these so-called clock genes may be potential therapeutic targets. All three studies were performed in collaboration with members of Caris’ POA.

Caris also hosted several satellite events, including the Caris POA Breast Working Group Hybrid Meeting, and Dr. George Sledge, Caris’ recently appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, participated in a Clinical Case Discussion Session. You can read more about Caris’ presence at SABCS in our press release, here.

Caris’ presentations and posters:
•  Genomic and transcriptomic landscape of HER2-low breast cancer
   – Performed in collaboration with Duke Cancer Institute and Legorreta Cancer Center at Brown University
•  Prevalence and prognosis of ER-loss in advanced invasive lobular carcinoma
   – This retrospective study aimed to use real-world data to determine the prevalence and clinical
     significance of estrogen receptor (ER) loss in invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC).
•  Clock genes in breast cancer
    – This study aimed to investigate the molecular and clinical associations of genes controlling
      circadian rhythms (clock genes) in breast cancer.

Caris Life Sciences Named 2022 Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year

The AZBio Awards, held annually during Arizona Bioscience Week by the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio), is Arizona’s premiere bioscience event celebrating the excellence of leading organizations, researchers and educators who make life better for people in Arizona and around the world. On September 28, 2022, Caris Life Sciences was named 2022 Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year.

“For nearly 15 years, Caris Life Sciences has been pioneering the field of precision medicine in oncology by testing, sequencing and analyzing cancer tumors at the molecular level in order to validate diagnoses and treatment options for physicians and patients,” said Joan Koerber-Walker, President and Chief Executive Officer of AZBio. “The company’s unwavering commitment to health innovation and the impact they are making on improving patient care is why Caris is the Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year.”  Read More.