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OICR Researcher Receives Genome Canada Award to Develop Software for Personalized Medicine

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and the Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI) recently announced that Dr. Lincoln Stein, OICR’s Program Leader, Informatics and Bio-computing, has been awarded $250,000 through Genome Canada’s Bioinformatics and Computational Biology competition, in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Dr. Stein and his colleague Dr. Guanming Wu, aim to develop software that will improve the treatment of cancer patients by enabling physicians to study and visualize the genomic aberrations of individual patients. It will help identify genes related to cancers and other diseases.

Cancer is a disease caused by the accumulation of multiple genetic mutations. Highly specific drugs that target mutated proteins in cancer cells are currently being used to treat the disease. However, since cancer patients have different mutation profiles, a drug that is effective in one may not have the same result in another. Personalized medicine based on genomic data would allow doctors to determine the best targeted therapy for each patient.

“One of OICR’s research priorities is to use personalized medicine to optimize patient treatment decisions,” said Dr. Tom Hudson, OICR’s President and Scientific Director. “This project will be of great value to patients because it will link genomic pathway and network patterns to clinical information such as likelihood of cancer metastasis, recurrence, drug sensitivity and patient overall survival.”

“This project will improve clinical care for individuals with cancer,” said Dr. Mark Poznansky, President and CEO, Ontario Genomics Institute. “Understanding the genetic differences between individuals allows for personalized approaches to medicine, which will have a significant impact on health care in Ontario and the world. OGI is proud to support this important work by Drs. Stein and Wu.”

Source: Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

OICR Enters Collaboration with Janssen Inc. in the Development of Multicentre Clinical Trials to Identify Improved Prostate Cancer Biomarkers

Dr. Tom Hudson, President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) recently announced a collaboration with Janssen Inc. to find and test new biomarkers to identify patients with hormone resistant prostate cancer at high risk for disease progression and biomarkers of response to therapy. These biomarkers could lead to more personalized treatments and fewer side effects for prostate cancer patients.

Scientists Unravel Resistance to Breast Cancer Treatment

Tamoxifen – used alongside traditional chemotherapy and radiotherapy – blocks the female hormone oestrogen that, in certain breast cancers, is required by the tumour to grow; it has been shown to improve cancer survival rates by up to one third.

RayBiotech, Inc. and the University of Oslo Enter into Antibody Array Services Collaboration

RayBiotech, Inc. and the combined genotyping core facility for Oslo University Hospital and the University of Oslo, located at the Institute for Cancer Research, announced the execution of an agreement to collaborate for the implementation of antibody-based sample analysis services. Under the terms of the agreement, the combined core facility will provide a comprehensive service utilizing RayBiotech’s proprietary antibody arrays for the high-throughput detection and analysis of protein biomarkers in biological samples. The service program will target academic and industrial research clients having a need for fully quantifiable biomarker analysis.

Penn State Hershey and Serametrix to Seek Companion Diagnostic for Immunotherapy in Pediatric Cancers

Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital and Serametrix will collaborate on developing a diagnostic test for predicting individual clinical response to a novel immune therapy for brain cancer, it was announced today. The serum-based test is designed to determine patient immune responses from cancer immunotherapy, enabling clinicians to determine in the future which patients may be more likely to respond to this treatment regimen.