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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.

New Pan-Canadian Terry Fox Research Institute Network Receives Close to $4-million to Find Better Tools to Treat Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third-leading cause of cancer-related death in Canadian men. Screening has enabled earlier diagnosis of prostate cancer, but with three out of four men actually diagnosed with a non-lethal form, should they all undergo the same treatment? A new pan-Canadian network of prostate cancer researchers formed by the Terry Fox Research Institute aims to address this need with approximately $4-million provided by the Terry Fox Foundation and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. The funding was announced recently at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM).

Cancer Biomarker Study Data Presented at the 2012 AACR Meeting

A roundup of five research studies on cancer biomarkers that were presented early last week at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 103nd Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois.

Biomarkers Assist in Detecting Life-threatening Kidney Injury After Cardiac Surgery

Following heart surgery, patients commonly experience acute kidney injury (AKI) and a progressive loss of kidney function. But a Yale-led study identifies specific blood and urine markers that can predict which patients will suffer these serious complications. The findings suggest that early detection and better patient monitoring could prevent kidney deterioration. The study appears online in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.