SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A new collaborative cancer research study provides underserved cancer patients in the northern Louisiana region.

LSU Health Shreveport and Loxo@Lilly partnered together for a study called Next-Generation Sequencing (NSG), a powerful DNA decoder, to better determine if removing insurance barriers improves treatment plans.

NSG can provide valuable information about the genetic makeup of a tumor and identify any mutations that could affect how a patient will respond to different cancer treatments.

9.4% of the population is uninsured and 32% of the population relies on Medicaid, according to the latest Louisiana Health Insurance data report.

LSU Health Shreveport states the study will help the uninsured people living in rural areas who have limited access to healthcare services. Currently most insurance, private or public, do not cover this type of testing.

The primary goal of the NSG study is to determine if removing insurance barriers for patients; billing burdens for physicians will increase the use of NSG; and improve patient treatment plans and ultimately patient outcomes.

The insight gained will help physicians make more informed decisions on how to proceed and recommend treatment plans.

The study will evaluate the NGS test results of 700 patients enrolled over the next two years.

“Oncologists often look for specific mutations in a tumor because these mutations can indicate important targets for the cancer treatment recommended. Next-generation sequencing has the ability to detect a large number of mutations for multiple genes in a single test,” said Dr. Glenn Mills, Principal Investigator, Clinical Professor, and Emeritus Director at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center.

“Despite the increasing value of next-generation sequencing to inform oncology care decision-making, many barriers exist that prevent utilizing this technology in clinical oncology care,” said Dr Mills.

The partners Feist-Weiller Cancer Center (FWCC), a Center of Excellence in Cancer Research, Treatment, and Education at LSU Health Shreveport, and Loxo@Lilly and the oncology unit of Eli Lilly and Company launched this NGS Study.