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Oncology group chooses Sanford Health for first clinical trial

A new clinical trial at Sanford Health examines whether medications that are FDA-approved for one cancer can effectively treat another.

Sanford Health locations in Sioux Falls, Fargo and Bismarck are participating in this national effort. The Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry Study, or TAPUR, is sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the world’s leading organization representing oncologists.

Precision medicine, which targets treatments based on genetics and changes unique to a specific person’s cancer, allows oncologists to provide individualized treatments that attack cancer at a molecular level.

“Precision cancer therapy shows great promise, but despite our advances in genetic testing, treatment options have been limited,” said Steven Powell, M.D., the principal investigator for Sanford Health sites. “ASCO’s TAPUR study will increase the treatment options for our patients.”

Patients who have had genomic testing and are identified to have a targetable alteration qualify for the study and will gain access to treatments matched to their needs. Right now, the study is for adults with advanced cancers that have progressed on standard therapy or for whom no standard therapy exists.

Three medical oncologists from Sanford Health are principal investigators in the trial: Steven Powell, M.D., Sioux Falls; Anu Gaba, M.D., Fargo; and John Reynolds, M.D., Bismarck.

Seven pharmaceutical companies are participating and have volunteered to give medications to this effort. As more companies sign on, more drugs that target additional cancers may be added to the trial. AstraZeneca, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly and Co., Genetech, Merck and Pfizer are participating.

The study is open to cancer patients ages 18 and older who are no longer benefitting from standard anti-cancer treatment. To enroll, call 1-87-SURVIVAL.

About Sanford Health
Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas. It is one of the largest health systems in the nation with 45 hospitals and nearly 300 clinics in nine states and four countries. Sanford Health’s 28,000 employees, including more than 1,300 physicians, make it the largest employer in the Dakotas. Nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford have allowed for several initiatives, including global children's clinics, genomic medicine and specialized centers researching cures for type 1 diabetes, breast cancer and other diseases. For more information, visit

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