Oncology care is about making connections and facilitating integration throughout the cancer care continuum. It is about patients and the multi-disciplinary clinical teams that support and care for them. GE Healthcare is developing innovative oncology solutions for healthcare practitioners that may have a transformational impact on cancer care delivery. This ranges from research to diagnostics, then to staging, treatment and long-term monitoring.
According to the World Cancer Report, cancer rates could increase by 50 percent to 15 million new cases in the year 2020. According to the World Health Organization statistics in 2010, cancer eclipsed cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death around the world. But new treatments and technologies are making headway. Due to advances in cancer care, millions more survive their initial bout with cancer. These survivors rely on technology to monitor their health on a continuing basis.
Joe Camaratta, General Manager Americas Category Solutions at GE Healthcare, emphasized how the latest oncology technologies complement the focus of GE Healthcare on healthymagination. “Major innovations in oncology imaging and treatment, especially in the last few years, led by the focused R&D efforts of organizations like GE Healthcare, have made it possible to diagnose, treat and monitor cancer more effectively than ever,” said Camaratta.
To date, healthymagination-validated products have touched the lives of more than 234 million people as part of GE’s $6 billion global commitment to provide better health for more people at lower cost worldwide. Visit healthymagination.com for more information.
It begins with diagnosis and planning
GE Healthcare has long been known as one of the industry leaders in diagnostic imaging for detection of bladder, breast, lung, and colorectal cancers. The company is working to increase their efforts in personalizing cancer treatment through the development of imaging agents that may help physicians improve the detection of malignant cell types and assess the effectiveness of certain therapies. But imaging is just one component of the diagnostic equation. In December 2010, Clarient, Inc. joined the GE Healthcare family.
Clarient, a leader in the fast-growing in vitro molecular diagnostic sector, provides pathologists and oncologists with access to key diagnostic tests that can shed light on the complex nature of various cancers. Clarient offers laboratory tests including those that can aid in monitoring the likelihood of cancer recurrence. Clarient’s in vitro-based technologies, combined with GE Healthcare’s in vivo capabilities, are expected to help accelerate the development of new integrated tools for the diagnosis and characterization of cancer.
Facilitating individualized treatments
Today, biopharmaceuticals are becoming more focused and targeted, enabling more personalized care. However, these therapies are increasingly expensive, so to maximize clinical impact it is critical to identify which patients may have a high likelihood of response to a particular type and course of treatment. Cancer profiling, part of the Clarient suite of offerings, is expected to gain increasing importance in helping physicians identify appropriate patient populations for particular treatment therapies.
The important role of monitoring
Due to advances in cancer care, there are increasing populations of survivors. Effective and efficient long-term monitoring technologies also are critical.
During active treatment, physicians rely on GE Healthcare systems and tools to monitor tumor response to a particular course of treatment. Technologies such as PET VCAR (Volume Computer Assisted Reading), for example, use advanced tools which track changes over the duration of patient care. This tool provides precise comparison of lesions across multiple patient studies with a customizable reporting tool to help physicians plan and monitor patient therapy.
“By knowing how the activity changes over time, this quantitative and qualitative information helps us to take better care of the patient,” said Dr. Simeon Jaggernauth, a medical oncologist with Cancer Treatment Centers of America at their Southwestern Regional Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Integration for quality care
With a disease as complex and multi-faceted as cancer, the solutions need to be equally multi-faceted and even more integrated in their scope. GE Healthcare brings an array of sophisticated information technologies to healthcare practitioners that enable oncologists, pathologists and radiologists to integrate vast amounts of data and information to optimize treatment for individual patients. GE Healthcare offerings enable collaboration with pharmaceutical companies for drug discovery and research.
An eye to the future
GE Healthcare has a strong and ongoing commitment to oncology.
Visitors to the GE Healthcare booth (#24075) at ASCO 2011 will be able to explore an extensive Technology Pavilion where they can get a glimpse into the possible future of cancer care technologies.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare (gehealthcare.com) provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.
Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries.
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Allison Cohen - GE Healthcare
P: 972 048579290 / M: 972 0547299742 / E: allison.cohen[.]ge.com.