Avera joins health intelligence company to advance genetics-driven cancer treatment

The difference between looking at some genes involved in fighting cancer versus every gene involved in fighting cancer can be life-changing for the patient involved.

That’s how testing being conducted by Connecticut-based Sema4 works. Now, thanks to a relationship between Sema4 and Avera Health, South Dakota cancer patients are beginning to be offered that comprehensive test. And the resulting data is helping inform a broader effort to advance cancer treatment for all.

“The Avera health system is a very progressive, very cutting-edge health system,” said Dr. William Oh, chief medical officer at Sema4. “Their strategy is that they work with industry partners, they bring in new ideas and new approaches earlier than many health systems, certainly at a community-based level but compared to academic health centers too.”

Oh has the experience to make that endorsement. His career has included work at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Mount Sinai Health System, which spun out Sema4 as its own company in 2017.

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