University becomes Freenome's study partner for multi-cancer screening approach

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

 © Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Cancer Technology Patient centricity study Research

The Institute for Population and Precision Health (IPPH) at the University of Chicago has joined private biotech company, Freenome, to become its partner as part of a study.

The Vallania Study​ is focused on refining the company’s multiomics platform embedded with multi-cancer signatures to look for signals from several types of the disease.

Freenome is developing its own multi-cancer screening approach using risk stratification to organize and simplify the best patient care.

The platform the company combines tumor and non-tumor signals with machine-learning to detect cancer at the earliest and most treatable stages using a standard blood draw.

The study is a key milestone in Freenome’s plan to expand early detection of cancer screening beyond colorectal cancer (CRC). Last year, the company completed enrolment for PREEMPT CRC, its validation study for the detection of CRC.

Lance Baldo, chief medical officer at Freenome, said: “Each cancer presents its own unique circumstances when it comes to screening and care pathways.

“We design screening tests for everyone, so our clinical research should reflect a diverse population. Our partnership with the Institute for Population and Precision Health at the University of Chicago will help us advance cancer research and reach a diverse and representative population.”

The IPPH is dedicated to public health research on the south side of Chicago and draws participants from widely diverse communities in that area.

To facilitate community engagement and clinical study participation, the institute uses both its presence within the University of Chicago’s medical facilities as well as mobile research units. These units enable the institute to engage with community members and broaden access to participation in clinical trials and population health research.

“At IPPH, we focus on research and program creation for disease prevention and health promotion,” said Habib Ahsan, dean of population and precision health at the University of Chicago.

“Partnering with Freenome on its Vallania Study supports our commitment to population health and to provide equitable access to the latest innovative technology to reduce health disparities.”

The Vallania Study is enrolling patients at more than 100 sites across the United States.

Many of Freenome’s clinical studies are named for employees’ loved ones who have battled cancer. The Vallania Study honors the mother of a Freenome scientist who battled pancreatic cancer. 

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