The Science

Convinced that the broad application of Ex Vivo Analysis had the potential to revolutionize patient care, Dr. Nagourney founded Rational Therapeutics (now Nagourney Cancer Institute) in 1995, where he pioneered the use of "functional profiling" to create the first personalized cancer therapy program.

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Creating a Predictive Human Tumor Model

Cancer cells "talk" to each other and to all the surrounding cells using chemical signals like growth factors and byproducts of metabolism.  Blood vessels, immune cells and connective tissues (stroma) all participate and contribute to the cancer process.

This is why it is absolutely essential to test cancers in their own natural clusters known as "microspheroids".  We isolate these 3-dimensional structures directly from each patient's tumor to test drugs and combinations.  

These microspheroids represent cohesive populations that interact directly with stroma, vasculature, inflammatory cells, and other tumor cells. Thus, the microspheroid recapitulates the human tumor environment.

By applying cell death endpoints (the most rigorous of predictive measures) to these microspheroids, we have overcome pitfalls encountered by earlier technologies. And, for the first time, a truly predictive human tumor model that we call the Ex Vivo Analysis of Programmed Cell Death (EVA-PCD) assay has been developed.


Lung Cancer Treatment Guide

by Robert A. Nagourney, MD
The incidence and mortality associated with advanced lung cancer represents one of the world’s greatest public health challenges. While progress in this disease has been disappointingly slow, there is renewed reason for hope. This guide outlines the current and future management options for this disease.