Navigating through the storm

In this period of global upheaval, which has been so difficult for so many people, I have found the various ways that people all over the world have been able to carry on through the pandemic – whether with their work, duties or family commitments – very inspiring.

In my position as Managing Director at Foundation Medicine GmbH in Penzberg, I have been determined to continue serving cancer patients, while keeping all our staff safe. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care has been well documented, delaying diagnoses and treatment, and halting clinical trials. 

We were determined not to let that happen here, if possible. 

We are a team of approximately 70 passionate colleagues providing comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) services through tissue and blood-based genomic profiling tests. These tests allow physicians to find the unique “fingerprint” of an individual’s tumour and aid in identifying the treatment option that is most suitable for that patient. 

CGP is an essential tool in cancer care and, as a unique centre in Europe, it is absolutely vital that we stay operational and maintain our commitment to patients. 

I have been so proud of the way my team, in partnership with Roche and others, has adapted to the ever-changing situation and found solutions to keep our essential services available for patients. One example is establishing a remote service offering phlebotomies (taking blood from veins) at home to ensure patients can continue to have CGP tests done when they cannot travel or prefer not to enter a healthcare facility. 

Additionally, I am incredibly proud that in the midst of this challenging year, we successfully launched a new CGP liquid biopsy test, which has broadened access to CGP for patients in more countries around the world. This wouldn’t have been possible without the flexibility, agility and resilience of the teams working on this project.

Why is it important to have more testing options? We believe that every patient living with cancer globally should benefit from comprehensive genomic insights to inform their treatment and receive the most tailored and effective care possible. And that begins with widespread access to this critical tool. Since we opened four years ago, Foundation Medicine’s services are now available in more than 100 countries; helping thousands of patients receive personalised cancer care. 

The team’s ability to navigate through the COVID-19 storm and maintain our commitment to patients has brought us one step closer to that goal.

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