DANVILLE - A German company that provides services enabling individualized cancer therapy and Geisinger Health System (GHS) on Tuesday announced a partnership that will afford Geisinger patients access to advanced cancer treatment and clinical trials.

Indivumed and GHS announced partnership plans in May 2013 and reached a formal agreement earlier this week, according to a press release.

The collaboration allows Indivumed to partner with Geisinger to collect samples from consenting patients who are already undergoing a surgical tumor resection (removal of abnormal tissue). Upon resection, a portion of the tissue, blood or urine remaining beyond what is required to make a clinical diagnosis will be banked at Geisinger through MyCode, a repository that holds more than 45,000 patient samples. Another portion will be banked by Indivumed, which will analyze the tissue to be used in the development and, eventually, application of targeted therapies for cancer patients.

"We are pleased to be working on this next generation of cancer treatment with Indivumed, a company recognized as a global leader in the field of biobanking and translational research," Dr. Glenn D. Steele Jr., president and chief executive officer of GHS, was quoted in the release. "This partnership will give Geisinger patients access to the most advanced cancer therapeutics in the country, close to where they live and work."

"Developing targeted pharmaceutical therapies for cancer patients is at the core of our collaboration with Geisinger,"

"Geisinger's advanced electronic health record and clinical data repository coupled with our ability to comprehensively analyze patients' individual cancers provides a unique opportunity to quickly translate new scientific discoveries into the practice of medicine," said Hartmut Juhl, founder and chief executive officer of Indivumed.

Indivumed will integrate its unique biobanking standard at GHS to jointly create a platform that offers "extraordinary opportunities for clinical research focused on tumor biology."

Indivumed, based in Hamburg, maintains a biobank of tissues and annotated data from more than 20,000 patients, with about 1,500 new cases added per year, and each collected under stringent specifications. The overall goal is understanding the biological difference between tumors and how patients respond to treatment to support the implementation of personalized therapy.

Research demonstrates that proteins change expression profiles significantly within minutes following surgical resection. Many of those proteins may serve as biomarkers for new drugs. For this reason, controlled and rapid tissue processing is necessary for understanding biological differences of or within patient tumors, especially when developing targeted therapies.

"The goal of this partnership is to translate clinical research into specific knowledge about a cancer that is clinically relevant and will enhance patient care," Steele said.