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Advocate photo by SOPHIA GERMER -- The Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center wing of Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, Friday June 25, 2016.

SOPHIA GERMER

Ochsner Cancer Institute is launching a new initiative that will bring early-phase clinical trials to cancer patients, the only program of its kind in the region, Ochsner Health System said Tuesday.

Early-phase clinical trials allow patients to receive innovative therapies before they are widely available.

In partnership with the Translational Genomics Research Institute, a nonprofit biomedical research group, the Ochsner Precision Cancer Therapies Program includes genomic sequencing and advanced studies used to create customized treatment plans based on current data and research.

In addition to early-phase trials, the program offers patient access to advanced molecular sequencing and care and support teams, including nurses, doctors and researchers.

“By partnering with TGen, we are providing access to cutting-edge therapies close to home, allowing patients to stay near to family during treatment and follow up as opposed to having to travel elsewhere for treatment," said Dr. Marc Matrana, medical director for Ochsner Precision Cancer Therapies Program.

For more information on the program, visit ochsner.org/earlyphase or call (504) 800-6370.