DIRECT YOUR CARE, DEMAND SEQUENCING
Bryce Olson was diagnosed with aggressive stage 4 prostate cancer. When the standard of care didn’t work, Bryce turned to genomic sequencing which allowed his doctors to identify specific molecular drivers of his disease and identify specific treatments and clinical trials that were a better fit for his specific cancer. If you have cancer, you can do this too.
“The driver of my cancer was hidden in my DNA. I asked my doctors to ‘Sequence Me.’ The insights from genomic sequencing opened new doors and saved my life. Fight cancer differently with data.”
Improve your Genomic IQ
Meet GIA (our Genomic Information Assistant from Clear Genetics). GIA is the first clinical-grade, HIPAA-compliant chatbot that is focused on educating cancer patients about the power of genomics, answering your questions, and helping you take the next steps towards improving your outcomes.
Click the blue GIA chat button in the bottom right corner of your screen.
Clear Genetics is a software company that is building technology, including an AI-driven platform, to scale the delivery of genetic and genomic services. They are driven to make genomics more accessible and offer thoughtful solutions to improve patient access to cutting-edge research.
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POWER TO THE PEOPLE
You have the power to demand that your doctors tell you what is driving your disease and use that to open new doors. Go beyond the standard. Be your own best advocate and demand to be sequenced. Get a “Sequence Me” shirt, wear it in support of your friends and family members fighting cancer, or wear it to your next doctor appointment and start the conversation about getting the DNA of your cancer profiled.
Note: Proceeds from shirt sales are donated to the Children's Cancer Association (CCA), based in Portland, OR.
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INDIVIDUALIZE YOUR CARE – DEMAND SEQUENCING
‘Sequence Me’ is a call to action and a new movement. All people suffering from cancer deserve new insights into what is driving their disease. To get that, we need to demand genomic sequencing from our medical teams in order to understand those molecular drivers that are hidden in the DNA of our tumors. The insights from genomic sequencing can open new doors for treatment and extend your life. At the very least, it will empower
In the future it is expected that many more doctors will eventually offer this and many more patients will get personalized diagnostics and medicine. Why? Because the advances and affordability in new solutions like this driven by science and technology innovation will make it embarrassing for healthcare providers to not offer it. But today is still early days. One great way to accelerate the adoption of new innovation is through greater education, awareness building, and forming community. Sequenceme.org is going to do that. We want to bring ‘strength in numbers’ to new innovation like this. We need to accelerate this and YOU have the power to demand it. The supply side that offers these services will respond when we as patients demand it. So let’s collectively wake up and demand “Sequence Me!”
The genome is the complete set of genes or genetic material present in a cell or organism. The human genome is made up of 20,000 genes and more than 3 billion base pairs of the genetic letters known as DNA building blocks (A, T, C, Gs). A genome sequence is a specific order of those DNA building blocks (A, T, C, Gs) and ‘sequencing’ is a critical first step to understanding it and figuring out the order of those DNA nucleotides, or bases, in a genome—that make up who you are.
Cancer is a genetic disease—that is, it is caused by changes in DNA that control the way cells function, especially how they grow and divide. These changes can be inherited, but most arise randomly during a person’s lifetime, either as a result of errors that occur as cells divide or from exposure to DNA-damaging carcinogens. These are referred to as “somatic” mutations or “acquired” mutations that are different from ‘germline’ or inherited changes.
Each person’s cancer has a unique combination of these genetic changes, and tumor DNA sequencing—sometimes called genetic profiling or genetic testing—is a test to identify these unique DNA changes.
Knowledge of the genetic alterations in your cancer can help determine a treatment plan. Some treatments—particularly, some targeted therapies—are effective for people whose cancer cells have specific genetic alterations that cause the cells to grow out of control (these are sometimes called “driver” mutations).
For example, mutations in the EGFR gene that make cells divide rapidly are found in some people’s lung cancer cells. A patient whose lung cancer cells harbor an EGFR mutation may respond to treatment with drugs called EGFR inhibitors. Clinical tumor DNA sequencing can reveal whether a patient’s lung tumor has an EGFR mutation.
Tumor DNA sequencing is at the crux of precision medicine: care tailored to the molecular characteristics of each patient’s disease.
Anybody with cancer. For patients with hematologic malignancies (blood cancers) and soft tissue sarcomas, sequencing can be used early at diagnosis, for prognostication, and to guide overall clinical management. Folks with solid tumors (i.e. prostate, breast, lung, pancreatic, etc) become eligible when they have more advanced disease – and they should absolutely demand it when they become stage III/IV. Unfortunately, more than 60 percent of advanced cancer patients today receive no genomic testing — and are often relegated to highly toxic and ineffective therapies. Let’s change that!
Many academic cancer centers across the U.S. offer this and you just need to ask your medical oncologist for it. For example, Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC offers the FDA approved MSK-IMPACT test. There are also many commercial diagnostic testing companies that offer amazingly informative tests, including Foundation Medicine, Ambry Genetics, Tempus, Perthera, and Caris Life Sciences among others. There are lots of options and your doctor may have a preferred provider for this, so just ask.
Demand it first from your doctor. Your doctor will then likely coordinate with the pathology department to get a tumor sample from you (i.e through previous biopsy or surgically removed sample that is sitting preserved in a lab), or possibly through new blood draw. The doctor will then have those samples send over to one of the places above. They will also work with your health insurance provider on coverage / reimbursement for the diagnostic test.
Disclaimer: SequenceMe.org provides this information as a service. This information and material is strictly for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, is not intended to take the place of medical professionals, or the recommendations of your healthcare team for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of medical issues. We strongly suggest consulting your healthcare team if you have questions about your specific care.
KEEP UP WITH WHAT’S HAPPENING
As an advanced cancer patient who also works for one of the most innovative tech companies on the planet, Bryce lives on the edge of…Read More
Bryce Olson was recently featured on KATU Channel 2 News in Portland, Oregon. Watch Bryce’s story and learn how gene testing helped Bryce. “The message I just really want to deliver is: demand sequencing. Demand genomic sequencing.”Read More