May 25, 2017

OICR launches five large-scale Ontario research initiatives to combat some of the most deadly cancers

OICR Logo

Toronto (May 25, 2017) – Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, today announced the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research is launching five unique, cross-disciplinary, multi-institutional Translational Research Initiatives (TRIs), each focused on a single type of or treatment approach to cancer. With $24 million in funding over two years, the TRIs will bring together world-leading scientists to tackle some of the most difficult to treat cancers and test innovative solutions to some of the most serious challenges in cancer today.

The TRIs build on Ontario’s proven strengths in areas such as stem cells, immuno-oncology, pediatric cancers, genomics, clinical trials and informatics. Working together, the province’s top scientists and clinicians will accelerate the development of much needed solutions for patients around the globe, with a focus on acute leukemia and brain, ovarian and pancreatic cancers. Each TRI includes clinical trials to maximize patient impact.

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May 8, 2017

Interview: Mr. Peter Goodhand, President of OICR

Peter Goodhand

OICR is pleased to announce that Mr. Peter Goodhand is OICR’s new President for a one-year term. Goodhand served as Interim President of OICR over the past 10 months, in addition to his role as Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH). We spoke to Goodhand about why he took on the new, expanded job, how it differs from his previous role, what this means for the search for a permanent OICR President and Scientific Director and what he’s planning for the next year at OICR.

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May 3, 2017

Study bringing more precision medicine to Ontario’s cancer patients

 

A technician holds a blood sample and writes down information.

The advent of genomic sequencing and targeted therapies has opened the door to new ways of diagnosing and treating cancer. The Ontario-wide Cancer Targeted Nucleic Acid Evaluation (OCTANE) program is a new, province-wide initiative supported by OICR that will allow more patients to benefit from these innovations while also helping to advance cancer research in Ontario.

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April 26, 2017

Clinical trial opens for promising combination therapy

Rhabdovirus

The first patient has been treated in what has been named the Sandpiper Trial. The Phase I/II clinical trial will evaluate a therapy that combines a novel oncolytic viral immunotherapy agent called MG1-MAGEA3 with pembrolizumab, which is an approved checkpoint inhibitor. The Sandpiper Trial will study the use of this combination therapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer who are no longer responding to chemotherapy.

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April 26, 2017

OICR marches in support of science

OICR march banner

On April 22 (Earth Day), 3,000 people joined the March for Science, gathering at Nathan Philips Square and marching to Queen’s Park where they heard from a number of speakers representing the breadth of research here in Canada. Speakers talked of the impact of actions in United States, which affect the global scientific community, but also why having a voice for Canadian science and evidence-based policy, at home, is important for scientists and the public they serve. Marchers also heard how the scientific community can do better to represent all perspectives in that voice and why the practice of science cannot be divorced from the people who conduct it or the context in which it sits.

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April 25, 2017

Dr. John Dick presented with CIHR Gold Leaf Award for Discovery

Dr. John Dick

Dr. John Dick was recognized for his pioneering research in cancer stem cells with the presentation of the CIHR Gold Leaf Award for Discovery. He was the first scientist in the world to confirm their existence. Better understanding of cancer stem cells has the potential to lead to new treatments, ultimately resulting in improved patient outcomes.

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April 19, 2017

Report shows investment in cancer research in Canada remains strong, identifies areas for improvement

Map of Canada

The Canadian Cancer Research Alliance (CCRA) has released its report: “Cancer Research Investment in Canada, 2005 to 2014”, which conveys the findings of a survey of its 42 member organizations to assess the state of cancer research funding in Canada. The CCRA is a national alliance of organizations that together fund the majority of cancer research in Canada. Its members include federal and provincial funding programs and research agencies, provincial cancer care agencies, cancer charities and other organizations.

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April 13, 2017

Could diagnosing cancer as rare diseases improve outcomes for patients?

Dr. John Bartlett

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer amongst women in Canada and worldwide, but despite its prevalence, a group of researchers believes that it should often be treated as a rare disease. Doing so would change clinical approaches and improve treatment for patients.

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April 4, 2017

OICR provides students a window into possible careers over March Break

Three students pose for a photo.

For three science-obsessed high school students March Break wasn’t a time to kick back and relax. Instead the students, Cameron, Chris and Zev, spent the week at OICR gaining knowledge and hands on experience in genomics and bioinformatics as part of the Gene Researcher for a Week program.

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March 29, 2017

New approach improves sensitivity of DNA sequencing, producing more reliable results

A lab technician works at a bench

Polymerase chain reactions (PCR) are one of the most common tools used in molecular biology labs worldwide. This technique allows researchers to amplify, or increase, the amount of DNA in a sample so that they have more to work with. To keep track of the original molecules from a sample, chemical ‘barcodes’ are added. While barcodes serve an important purpose they can lead to errors and interfere with results. To prevent these cross-reactions a small team of international researchers have devised an ingenious method to ‘hide’ the barcodes when needed, leading to increased sensitivity and more reliable results.
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March 28, 2017

OICR Charity Challenge raises funds for Canadian Cancer Society

Participants pose for a group photo after the event

At the OICR Scientific Meeting about 20 attendees started the final day of the meeting off early with a little fun, all in the name of a good cause. This year the OICR Charity Challenge was in support of the Canadian Cancer Society, which provides research funding as well as support services to cancer patients. Together the participants raised more than $1,500 to support the Society’s activities. Participants ran a mini-Relay For Life which entailed competing in five different “challenges”: accuracy, trivia, creativity, physical and teamwork.

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March 22, 2017

FACIT Launches The Prospects Oncology Fund

New evergreen fund to help Ontario discoveries reach seed-stage funding faster

Prospects Fund LogoTORONTO, March 21, 2017 /CNW/ – Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust (“FACIT”) is pleased to announce the launch of The Prospects Oncology Fund (“Prospects Fund”), designed to advance early-stage Ontario cancer discoveries by supporting the proof-of-concept studies needed to attract seed-stage investment. Managed by FACIT, this is an evergreen fund to which capital is allocated annually.

Continue reading – FACIT Launches The Prospects Oncology Fund