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Philips and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center announce research agreement to jointly develop advanced genome analytics for precision oncology


  • Agreement aims to enable precision diagnostics for pancreatic cancer by developing new methodsto resolve single-cell level differences within and between tumors
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will use Philips IntelliSpace Genomics platform for advanced analytics and research collaboration capabilities

June 1, 2017

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Amsterdam, the Netherlands and New York, NY Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center, today announced a research collaboration to help improve the understanding of pancreatic cancer and advance precision oncology.


Using the Philips IntelliSpace Genomics platform, both organizations will work together to develop new methodologies and informatics approaches1 for advanced precision diagnostics to help uncover the drivers for cancer at single-cell level. High resolution cellular level insights into what causes a person’s cancer to develop can help identify which therapy, or combination of therapies, is best suited to fight tumor growth via a precision approach that targets the root cause.  


To this end, researchers, data scientists and genomic analytics experts from Philips will work with Scott Lowe, PhD, Chair of the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at the Sloan Kettering Institute at MSK,  and Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue, MD, PhD, Associate Director for Translational Research at the David M. Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Research at MSK, and colleagues on the collaboration. The joint research team will apply large-scale Next Generation DNA Sequencing technologies within the context of pancreatic cancer to better understand this deadly disease.


Pancreatic cancer is the seventh most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide, with a five-year survival rate of only five percent2. At diagnosis, only 5% - 10% of patients qualify for surgery, which is currently the only potentially curative treatment option. In the majority of patients, the cancer is detected at a late stage, after spreading beyond the pancreas to invade surrounding vital structures, making it nonresponsive to conventional chemotherapies.


Today’s technologies can sequence and analyze a heterogeneous sample, but it remains a challenge to resolve details on single-cells, where genetic mechanisms can independently drive the tumor. Pancreatic cancer poses a particular challenge given the extensive infiltration into connective tissues, which makes it difficult to map all cell variations. The ability to dissect and map the variety of genetic defects will allow more effective characterization of pancreatic cancer.


“Our collaboration with Philips will allow rapid advances in understanding the clinically significant aspects of intratumoral heterogeneity within and between patients and how to take full advantage of this knowledge for the benefit of the patient,” said gastrointestinal pathologist Dr. Iacobuzio-Donahue.

“Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed when it is in the very late stages of progression, resulting in very challenging circumstances for both the patient and the clinician,” said Henk van Houten, Chief Technology Officer at Philips. “Collaborating with MSK and its experts will allow us to take a unique approach to diagnosing and treating this devastating disease. Leveraging the advanced capabilities of the Philips IntelliSpace Genomics solution we can gain new insights into the origin, development and optimal treatment of pancreatic cancer, and share these insights broadly with care providers to help improve outcomes for patients. Our ultimate goal is to translate these findings into more precise diagnostics and therapeutics to battle this devastating disease.”


Philips’ IntelliSpace Genomics

Philips’ IntelliSpace Genomics is a comprehensive precision medicine platform built to support the implementation and scaling of informatics-heavy precision medicine programs. Resulting from more than a decade of research and development with clinical partners, it offers integrated workflows with advanced analytic capabilities, genomics-informed clinical decision support and trial matching tools for pathologists, oncologists, and researchers. It also offers integration of N-of-One’s extensive knowledge-bases. Philips’ IntelliSpace Genomics unifies the whole patient picture and streamlines collaboration across hospitals.


Philips and MSK already have a research collaboration in the field of radiation oncology, where MR imaging is used for treatment planning. This successful partnership lays the foundation for expansion into other areas of oncology.


Philips is showcasing the Philips IntelliSpace Genomics platform and other oncology informatics solutions for precision medicine at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting. Visit Philips at Booth #5107 on the exhibit floor for detail on Philips’ collaboration with MSK, and follow @PhilipsLiveFrom for #ASCO17 updates throughout the event.




1 For Research use only and cannot be used for patient diagnosis or treatment selection


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For further information, please contact:

Kathy O’Reilly

Philips Group Press Office

Tel.: +1 978-221-8919


Twitter: @kathyoreilly


Joost Maltha

Philips Group Press Office

Tel.: +31 610-55-8116


Twitter: @JoostMaltha

About Royal Philips:


Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people's health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips' health technology portfolio generated 2016 sales of EUR 17.4 billion and employs approximately 70,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at

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