Q&A: Winship Cancer Institute's Dan Brat on the Challenges of Using MDx for Cancer

NEW YORK (360Dx) – Earlier this month, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University was designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Institutes of Health, placing it in the top 1 percent of cancer centers in the US, according to Winship. 

Each year, Winship treats about 15,000 patients who come from Georgia, the Southeast, and elsewhere. Among the research programs at the institute are those looking at the underlying cell biology of cancers, cancer genetics and epigenetics, and therapeutics development. With the advent of molecular technologies, such as next-generation sequencing, and now liquid biopsy, Winship has also embraced the newest tools to more quickly and accurately diagnose patients, and then direct them to the most appropriate treatment. 

Dan Brat, director of the cancer tissue and pathology shared resource at Winship, and whose work is primarily in the diagnosis of primary and metastatic brain tumors and other brain-related diseases, recently spoke with 360Dx about the impact of molecular methods on cancer diagnoses. 

While new technologies are ushering in a “period of renaissance” in diagnosing different forms of cancer, he said, reimbursement issues may be discouraging labs from leveraging them. 

Below is an edited version of the interview. 

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