Intermountain Precision Genomics and Dr. Lincoln Nadauld Bring Viewers into the New World of Personalized Cancer Treatment

St. George, UT — August 19, 2016 — The Dixie State University DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival presents Moonshot Through the Double Helix. A revolution in cancer research is taking place and the world is starting to take notice. Dr. Lincoln Nadauld, MD, PhD, is the Executive Director of Precision Medicine and Precision Genomics at Intermountain Healthcare and a genomic researcher who came to Intermountain Healthcare from Stanford University. He is collaborating with a world-class team which is initiating a novel approach to the treatment of cancer by instituting personalized cancer medicine using innovative genetic sequencing technologies. This film tells the story of how Dr. Nadauld and the work of Intermountain Precision Genomics came to be included in the “Cancer Moonshot Initiative” with Vice President Joe Biden leading the charge. It will be screened on Friday, September 9 at 7 p.m. at the Cox Auditorium and Saturday, September 10 at Noon at The Electric Theater. Tickets for DOCUTAH may be purchased at as a Festival Pass for $40, a Day Pass for $15 or a Single Film Pass for $10.

The documentary, produced and directed by film students at Dixie State University, follows Dr. Nadauld to Washington D.C., Salt Lake City, UT, and Palo Alto, CA where his team of collaborators are taking the future in hand to solve one of mankind’s most vexing problems – how to conquer a disease which afflicts so many worldwide. Intermountain Healthcare, along with a handful of academic medical centers worldwide, is one of the first healthcare systems in the country to treat patients using genetic sequencing technologies.

Earlier this year, Intermountain Healthcare, Stanford Cancer Institute, Providence Health & Services, and Syapse joined together to announce a new consortium to advance cancer care through data sharing and increase access to clinical trials. Responding to Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative, the Oncology Precision Network (OPeN) will share, as appropriate, aggregated cancer genomics data through an advanced software platform, rapidly bringing the most promising treatment insights to cancer patients and physicians.

The team of Dr. Lincoln Nadauld, Dr. Derrick Haslem, Dr. Pravin Mishra at Intermountain Healthcare and others are changing the way serious cancers are treated by sequencing a patient’s DNA in search of genetic mutations known to cause cancer. Those mutations are then targeted by specific drugs.

“This consortium exists because we all arrived at the same important conclusion: we need to collaborate across health systems to cure cancer,” said Dr. Lincoln Nadauld. “Through collaboration, we emphasize the need to learn together to empower physicians and patients in finding solutions to cancer without increasing costs.”

According to Nadauld, what precision genomics offers patients is not only new treatment options, but also treatments that are more tolerable. “In this way, we are extending the life of and improving the quality of life of late stage cancer patients,” said Dr. Nadauld.

“The driving force behind the making of this film for me was about giving patients and families hope. Very few people know what genomic research is, but when you explain to them what it can do and that it can give those suffering from cancer new hope, they go – wow!,” said Stan Smith, DSU student and Director of the film. “When we went to Washington, D.C. to hear Dr. Nadauld talk to the National Press Club, his message was all about hope. The hope for a longer life, the hope for a better quality of life, the hope for alternative treatments. My little sister died from colon cancer and perhaps, if she had lived a bit longer, there would have been hope right in her back yard here in Southern Utah. We need to educate everyone about genomics and that there are now options beyond chemo and radiation. If people see this film and walk away saying there is hope, we will have succeeded.”

As students of documentary film, the crew of nine started out with curiosity about this fascinating medical research going on in their own back yard, but as they researched the project, they realized that the story had many tentacles. It included not only the genius of those professionals – medical, technical and business – who had to come together to collaborate and share knowledge, but also the tenacity of two people who protected a BioRepository of millions of biological tumor samples for over 30 years and had the vision to understand that, at some point, science would catch up and these samples would be valuable in treating cancer.

 Intermountain Healthcare’s mission is to help people live the healthiest lives possible. We offer precision cancer genomics using innovative technologies through next-generation sequencing,” said Terri Kane, CEO, Dixie Regional Medical Center. “We have developed a fully integrated program staffed by nationally regarded experts. We stand by our patients and their families by providing comprehensive care that is improving outcomes, easing stress, reducing side effects while controlling costs.”

Moonshot Through the Double Helix – QUOTE SHEET

Phil Tuckett, Producer, Executive Director, DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival
Precision genomics treatment for stage 4 cancer is offering patients new hope for longer and more productive lives. The fact that our students chose this difficult and complex subject is a tribute to how serious they are about the purpose of documentary. Documentaries can entertain, can shock, can cause quizzical reactions but above all, they help us see and understand and relate to the human condition.

Hannah Logan, Associate Director
The most memorable thing was contacting all the patients and their families who were so welcoming and open about their experience.  Most of my family has had cancer so I have seen the toll. We spoke to two different couples. One went through genomics because chemo and radiation were not working and they met with Dr. Nadauld. Before genomics he could barely walk but after he can be more active and have a better life.
The other couple was younger. They just wanted to help others know that there were options. Both said no one knows about genomics and its effects so it was important to spread this information

Parker Mayberry – Camera
The first thing that amazed me was it was an entirely new area of science and research and medical technology that I never heard of. The technology and thought process about how genomics works and the steps that go into helping people was amazing. Curing cancer is on the top of many researchers lists, but being around people actually putting their efforts into it was really fascinating.
The patients we spoke with were really humbled by the experience and amazed. It was very emotional to see how grateful the spouses were because they still get to hang onto their loved ones for longer time.

Spencer Kelley – Lighting
Working with genomic patients and doctors gave us an intimate peek into what genomics could do. All of them, including these high powered scientists and doctors, were down to earth as individuals and showed compassion for the patients. I did not know much about this subject and was amazed to realize how it could help people.