U of Miami Health System, Syapse join forces for cancer care

The University of Miami Health System’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Syapse have formed a new precision medicine initiative.


Precision medicine.

The phrase doesn’t fall on unfamiliar ears in the healthcare world. But now it’s getting an extra bit of attention with the launch of a new partnership.

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is part of the University of Miami Health System, and Syapse, a Palo Alto, California-based software company, have teamed up to create a precision medicine initiative specifically focused on cancer care.

Physicians at Sylvester will be able to use Syapse’s platform to give patients more personalized care based on their clinical and molecular information.

“We bring all the data together for the physicians so they can understand what’s going on with the patient,” Jonathan Hirsch, president and founder of Syapse, told MedCity in a phone interview. “We have a decision support framework and a quality improvement framework so we can track the patient’s outcomes.”

With all the buzz surrounding precision medicine, now seemed like a better time than ever to launch the partnership.

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Dr. Jonathan Trent, associate director of clinical research at Sylvester and professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, expressed a similar sentiment. “Matching a cancer patient with a certain treatment based on the cancer’s molecular profile is among the most promising treatment options in this age of personalized medicine,” he said in a statement.

Hirsch also pointed to a number of trends that are impacting the growth of precision medicine. For one, today’s science and medicine and advanced enough to target treatment more specifically.

Additionally, although the physicians are recognizing the effectiveness of precision medicine technology, they don’t always have the correct training to use it.

Patients are also taking note of precision medicine. “Patients are becoming increasingly aware, especially in cancer, of the different options that are out there,” Hirsch said. “They’re becoming very educated and are going to shop for care.”

A final cause of the momentum stems from a value-based care perspective. “A lot of health systems are looking to gain control over the most complex specialty areas,” Hirsch said. “They’re getting more sophisticated about care that necessitates a precision medicine approach.”

Moving forward, Hirsch said the partnership success will be based on cost containment, patients living longer with a higher quality of life and ensuring all patients are receiving the same level of care regardless of their location.

In early 2016, Syapse raised $25 million in Series C funding. It has partnerships with other organizations such as Intermountain Healthcare and Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Photo: mathisworks via Getty Images