September 29, 2016

OICR funding new network to enhance molecular pathology research in Ontario

omprn-announce

Today OICR announced the launch of the Ontario Molecular Pathology Research Network (OMPRN), which will be based at Queen’s University and will bring together pathologists across the province.

Pathology is key to the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. An accurate diagnosis can provide better prognostic information and allow doctors to better target therapies. Pathology research can also lead to the development of new treatments that target specific cancer-driving mutations, genes and pathways, reducing the need for treatments with unwanted side effects.

But as researchers’ understanding of cancer, and its complexity, deepens, so too has the need for pathologists who can incorporate this new understanding into their daily routine, taking advantage of the latest technologies and knowledge to help patients.

This new network will enhance expertise in molecular pathology, improving the diagnosis of cancer and accelerating the adoption of more precision medicine for Ontario cancer patients.

That is why OICR has established the new Ontario Molecular Pathology Research Network (OMPRN), with initial funding of $3.7 million. It will be based at Queen’s University in Kingston under the leadership of Dr. David Lebrun and bring together a number of institutions province-wide.

Roger Deeley

The announcement was made at Queen’s University by Dr. Christine Williams, Deputy Director and Vice-President, Outreach of OICR.

“Today we are proud to announce the launch of the Ontario Molecular Pathology Research Network,” said Williams. “For patients, an accurate diagnosis is key to finding the best treatment for their cancer with the fewest side effects. This new network will enhance expertise in molecular pathology, improving the diagnosis of cancer and accelerating the adoption of more precision medicine for Ontario cancer patients.”

Dr. David LeBrun.

“We, as pathologists, are facing a whole new set of challenges,” said Lebrun. “There are hundreds of potential new cancer drugs available for study so we need people doing research into the relevant diagnostics. We need to draw young pathologists into the research community, provide funding for this research and work to have more pathology content integrated into medical school curriculums.”

OMPRN Researcher at work

The Network will increase the participation of Ontario cancer pathologists in research, enhance collaboration across the province and increase mentorship opportunities for residents and early career pathologists. The ultimate goal of OMPRN is to translate these strategies into improved diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients. This could mean more precision medicine, where diagnosis and treatment are linked for individual patients based on advanced diagnostics.

For more information about OMPRN, visit the website at https://ontariomolecularpathology.ca/