July Newsletter


MCGI STUDY updates

By Jens Rueter, M.D. and Andrey Antov, Ph.D., M.B.A.

We are proud to announce that the first five patients have successfully secured off-label or on-trial precision treatments based on their genomic testing and MCGI GTB discussions. We are excited to see the impact that precision medicine is having on Maine cancer patients and we are looking forward to enrolling even more patients into the study.   


This month we feature Rachit Kumar, MD, MBBS. 

He is the site Principal Investigator for the MCGI Study at the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care in Augusta and is also a member of the MCGI Clinical Steering Committee.

July - Rachit Kumar

Dr. Kumar is a medical oncologist and hematologist who sees patients at the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer and the Alfond Center for Health in Augusta. A member of MaineGeneral Medical Center's active staff, Dr. Kumar joined the cancer staff in July 2017 after completing a hematology/oncology fellowship at Georgetown University/MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. He received his medical degree from Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India and then did his internal medicine residency and chief residency at Georgetown University/MedStar Washington Hospital Center. His interests include targeted therapies and immunotherapy.  

Special Feature

The Maine Cancer Genomics Initiative has recently partnered with Navican, an Intermountain Healthcare organization, to assist in genomic testing while our CLIA lab is working on the next iteration JAX test. The Navican test reports are similar to JAX reports, indicating specific mutated variants and providing treatment options based on these mutations. Navican ranks the top therapies based on molecular tumor boards that they conduct internally prior to releasing the test report. This will NOT replace the JAX/MCGI Genomic Tumor Board, which will remain in place to discuss the more complex cases and the clinical trial options in more detail.
Highlights of Navican report that differ from ActionSeq reports:

  • Clinical information and testing options
  • Navican provides PD-L1 testing by IHC if indicated during test ordering
  • Reports include tumor mutation burden (TMB) and microsatellite instability

Additional Services:

  • “Therapy Connect” allows treating physicians to directly connect with patient navigation services to begin the treatment access process.
  • “MD Connect” directly connects treating oncologists and the Navican MTB team for a discussion of results and therapies.
  • “Trial Connect” portal provides direct connection to Navican Precision Care Specialist for an in-person discussion of clinical trials.  Navican ranks possible clinical trials by patient proximity for easier access.

    july - Navican report

Upcoming Events

The MCGI has scheduled more than 30 Genomic Tumor Boards sessions in 2018. Feel free to reach out to us at mcgi@jax.org for full list of GTB dates this year and details on CME offered for participants.


  • Tues, August 21st at 12:30pm hosted virtually from HACCC
  • Tues, August 28th at 7:30am hosted virtually from Waldo


  • Thurs, September 6th at 4:00pm hosted virtually from EMMC 
  • Thurs, September 20th at 12:30pm hosted virtually from Mercy
  • Tues, September 25th at 12:30pm hosted virtually from HACCC
  • Wed, September 26th at 12:30pm hosted virtually from PBMC

Dates for Genomic Tumor Board sessions are subject to change. Contact us at mcgi@jax.org with any questions or for current list of session dates. To learn more about MCGI, please visit our website at www.jax.org/mcgi, including biographies of Clinical Steering Committee members and our External Advisors. The Initiative is thankful to our External Advisors and Steering Committee members for all they do to support the Initiative. We are also thankful for the many Maine oncologists, clinicians and research staff participating in the Study.

News & Events

JAX’s Ed Liu is quoted in a story in Xconomy about Loxo Oncology’s hope that its therapies will benefit from the FDA’s recent approval of a cancer drug that treats tumors with specific genetic fingerprints regardless of their location in the body.  The article also links to a story the publication featured about JAX’s MCGI initiative

A JAX research highlight features how a research team led by JAX President and CEO Ed Liu found that certain cancers have high numbers of tandem duplications (TDs) of defined sizes and distributed evenly across the cancer’s genome. New research from JAX’s Liu Lab identifies a specific genomic signature in 50% of the most deadly cancers in women – triple negative breast, ovarian, and endometrial tumors.

2017 Annual Report (a PDF is attached): Key content includes financials, a JAX collaboration feature, and a MCGI progress article as well as highlights regarding new JAX faculty, philanthropic milestones, research, and recognition for excellence. The report was mailed to 5,000 donors, click here to view the report.  

Jens Reuter and Andrey Antov of the Maine Cancer Genomics Initiative spoke about the science behind genomic medicine on July 24th at the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor.


The mission of the Maine Cancer Genomics Initiative (MCGI) is to enable widespread access to clinical cancer genomic tests for the Maine oncology community and to increase the understanding of cancer genomics by Maine oncology clinicians.  The MCGI, enabled through the generous financial support from The Harold Alfond® Foundation, leverages the strengths of key medical and bioscience research institutions in Maine to create and alliance focused on precision cancer diagnostics and treatment. 

The MCGI central office team is dedicated to ensuring your practice's engagement and experience with genomic cancer testing. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments. Email us at mcgi@jax.org.