Cancer detection, treatment faster, personalized with new technology

Published: Jun. 3, 2021 at 3:50 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 7:18 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Norton Healthcare received the gift of a lifetime -- genomics technology that will speed up the cancer detection process and allow doctors to find personalized, targeted treatments based on the patient’s tumor genetics.

“The key part of cancer care starts here with a diagnosis,” Dr. Joseph Flynn, Chief Administrative Officer of Norton Medical Group, said of the lab.

“I think the hardest part, oftentimes, about a cancer diagnosis, or a potential diagnosis, is the delay in getting the answer,” Flynn said. “Waiting is hard; as human beings, we go through all of these processes thinking, ‘Maybe it’s nothing; maybe it’s something,’ and getting those answers sooner so you can get about your treatment is so important to virtually every patient out there.”

Instead of having to send biopsies to other parts of the country to be examined for cancerous cells, Norton’s pathologists can look for abnormalities in-house.

If the cells come back cancerous, the new technology in the genomics lab will break down the tumor’s genetics, which can help doctors pinpoint the best treatment option for the patient.

“Cancer by its definition is just abnormal cell growth, so it just grows, so the quicker we can get the right answer, the better we’re going to be,” Flynn said. “Having it right here in our community, we’re really bringing it right to the patients, it’s vital.”

The Steven Vanover Foundation donated $250,000 to Norton to pay for the new technology.

Steven Vanover was 23 when he was diagnosed with a sarcoma, which is a rare tumor. Following 15 months of chemo, infections, and a lack of other treatment options, Vanover lost his battle with cancer.

“This really is something where they took a tragedy and made it into something wonderful that’s going to have a positive impact on many, many people,” Flynn said.

The Steven Vanover Foundation supports cancer research across the country and funds scholarships. To make a donation, click here.

Steven Vanover’s brother, Michael, is a member of the WAVE 3 News sales team.

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