The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre has joined forces with two leading Canadian cancer centres—the Terry Fox Research Institute and the British Columbia (BC) Cancer Agency—to launch an innovative project that is aimed at accelerating the development of cancer precision medicine.
The project will establish the Terry Fox Designated Canadian Comprehensive Cancer Centres Network
to enable the development and implementation of a national precision cancer program. Similar networks between comprehensive cancer centres already exist in many other regions, including the US and Europe.
The Network will enable the three organizations to provide complementary analyses of specimens (eg, tumour biopsies and blood samples), identify and implement ways to harmonize research processes, establish an IT infrastructure for data sharing and develop the resources required to conduct multicentre precision medicine clinical trials. The initial focus will be on colorectal, ovarian and prostate cancers, with the goal of improving the health outcomes of patients through precision medicine.
To support the project, each organization is contributing $4 million over the next two years for a $12 million total investment that will see multidisciplinary teams focus on four specific research areas: genomics, immunotherapy, molecular imaging and data sharing.
UHN’s Executive Vice President, Science and Research Dr. Bradly Wouters
explains, “As a world-leading comprehensive cancer centre, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre has made strategic investments to enable personalized cancer therapy through efforts in immune therapy, genetic sequencing and molecular imaging, thanks to the ongoing support of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. We are excited to participate in this new strategic partnership with the Terry Fox Research Institute and the BC Cancer Agency to enable collaborative efforts in these areas and to accelerate the implementation of effective, targeted therapies for patients.”