Healthcare Long Island News

Northwell Health Opens Molecular Lab in Long Island

The Northwell Health Cancer Institute and its Center for Genomic Medicine announced the opening of Long Island’s first clinical Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory (MDL), a $3.2 million 2,800 square foot state-of-the-art facility with cutting-edge technology of next-generation sequencing (NGS) that provides point-of-care tumor and patient genomic profiling to inform precision cancer therapy. The MDL will provide improved accuracy of diagnosis and prognosis for cancer patients as well as lower costs to patients and the health system.

All tests performed by the MDL are CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988)-certified by the New York State Department of Health, ensuring that they are compliant with all regulatory and quality standards. The MDL is integrated with Northwell Health Laboratories, located at 450 Lakeville Road in Lake Success, which leverages existing operations and taps into specialized clinical staff. It is also closely aligned with Northwell’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. The MDL is equipped with eight Genexus Integrated Sequencers that automate next-generation sequencing to efficiently analyze solid tumor and blood samples for specific genetic mutations, known as biomarkers. This technology will provide a dramatically faster turnaround time for results and deliver targeted treatments for patients.

With a commitment to advancing innovation and being the best in cancer care, the new lab’s highly specialized team comprises physicians, scientists, cancer genetics researchers, molecular pathologists, experts in bioinformatics and clinical technologists. It will also collaborate with an existing molecular tumor board.

“We are proud to unveil our Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory designed to deliver point-of-care genomic testing to improve the lives of patients with cancer, which is the standard of care in oncology,” said Jeff Boyd, PhD, vice president and chief scientific officer and director of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute’s Center for Genomic Medicine. “This clinical achievement further demonstrates our commitment to advancing cancer care and access to precision medicine throughout our health system and the communities we serve.”

The Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory will offer a menu of tests to providers in a phased approach. Initially, the lab will provide four single-gene tests: EGFR for non-small cell lung cancer; BRAF for melanoma; KRAS for colorectalpancreatic and lung cancers; and BRAF/NRAS for melanoma.

In the coming months, the MDL will offer a 161-gene NGS panel for solid malignancies (Thermo Fisher Oncomine Comprehensive Assay v3), a 45-gene NGS panel for hematologic malignancies (Thermo Fisher Oncomine Myeloid Assay), and MSI-H, a genetic test to inform whether tumors should respond to immunotherapy.