January 14, 2019
Landmark pan-cancer study analyzes mutation signatures of low oxygen in more than 8,000 tumours
TORONTO (January 14, 2019) – Unlike healthy tissues, tumours thrive in low-oxygen environments, often acquiring the ability to resist treatment and spread to other sites in the body. Despite being a well-known cause of therapy resistance and metastasis, the impact of low oxygen, known as hypoxia, on tumour cells is poorly understood. As reported today in Nature Genetics, researchers have discovered molecular hallmarks of hypoxia in the first-ever pan-cancer analysis of low oxygen in human tumours, with a special focus on prostate cancer.
The study investigated more than 8,000 human tumours across 19 different cancer types, including prostate tumours from the Canadian Prostate Cancer Genome Network (CPC-GENE). The authors discovered common markers of hypoxia that could help predict cancer aggressiveness and inform treatment decisions.Continue reading – Researchers discover common markers of tumour hypoxia across 19 cancer types
January 10, 2019
Capital leverages Ontario’s strengths in genomics and informatics, deepens FACIT’s tech portfolioContinue reading – FACIT makes follow-on investment in AI-based genomics company, DNAstack
December 17, 2018
Large-scale genomic study discovers 40 new genetic variants associated with colorectal cancer risk
The most comprehensive genome-wide association study of colorectal cancer risk to date has discovered 40 new genetic variants and validated 55 previously identified variants that signal an increased risk of colon cancer. The study, recently published in Nature Genetics, is a product of the world’s largest molecular genetic consortium for colorectal cancer – the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO) – which was established nearly 10 years ago.Continue reading – When it comes to finding cancer risk, there’s power in numbers
December 14, 2018
As a radiation oncologist at the London Health Sciences Centre, Dr. David Palma is on the front lines of treating cancer patients with radiotherapy. Despite huge advances in radiation technology over the past few decades, Palma and his colleagues have noticed that clinical trials proving the benefits of these new technologies are not keeping pace – meaning these advances are not always reaching patients. To overcome these challenges and advance treatment, Palma formed the Canadian Pulmonary Radiotherapy Investigators Group (CAPRI) to support radiotherapy clinical trials and get them up and running as quickly as possible.Continue reading – Pan-Canadian radiotherapy group advancing care by reducing barriers to conducting clinical trials
December 13, 2018
What can we gain from looking at the outliers?: An investigation into long and short-term ovarian cancer survivors
Researchers investigate the clinical, molecular and microenvironment factors that contribute to extreme therapy response and resistance in ovarian cancer patients
Some patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) respond exceptionally well to therapy, while others experience rapid disease relapse. The mechanisms behind these disparate outcomes are poorly understood, but a group of researchers based at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PM) supported by OICR’s Ovarian Cancer Translational Research Initiative (TRI) are working to change that.Continue reading – What can we gain from looking at the outliers?: An investigation into long and short-term ovarian cancer survivors
December 11, 2018
Animal models are often used to study how a cancer evolves or how effective a treatment could be, but Dr. Laurie Ailles, Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and OICR Investigator, has recently found that certain animal models could be used to predict the aggressiveness of a patient’s oral cancer and help inform treatment decisions in the clinic.Continue reading – Using living avatars to predict the severity of oral cancers
December 10, 2018
As we approach the holidays, I want to wish you all the best of the season. The remarkable achievements of OICR and the cancer research community over the last year would not have been possible without your dedication, support and collaborative spirit. Together we are continuing to make OICR a huge success with tangible impacts on the lives of cancer patients across the province.Continue reading – A holiday message from the President and Scientific Director
November 22, 2018
Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe investigates why the 20 per cent of cancer patients with diabetes often experience worse outcomes
Several studies show that health outcomes – such as overall survival and preventable hospitalizations – are worse for cancer patients who also have diabetes. However, the reasoning behind this disparity is unclear. Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe, an endocrinologist at Women’s College Hospital and Diabetes Canada Investigator Award holder, is investigating why these differences exist and what we can do to avoid preventable complications.
November 21, 2018
GA4GH releases its latest standards for genomics search engines, a project co-led by OICR Associate, Dr. Marc Fiume
While we are generating genomic data at an unprecedented rate, it is collected and studied in academic and clinical settings around the world with different data privacy requirements, making it difficult to share this knowledge. Researchers must undergo a lengthy process to request access to data and until now there has been no way to know if a data set contains information that is relevant to the research being conducted.
November 15, 2018
What does a ball of elastic bands have to do with cancer research? Watch Nick Khuu explain. Nick is a Quality Assurance Coordinator in OICR’s genomics lab working on sequencing for OICR’s COMPASS clinical trial. He uses an #elasticbandball to explain #sequencingcoverage and how this sequencing technique can provide extra information to health care providers when treating patients with pancreatic cancer.
November 14, 2018
Researchers find a new way to detect small traces of tumour DNA in blood and determine the tumour’s tissue of origin
A blood sample can be used to detect and monitor certain cancers in select patients, but there are significant technical barriers that prevent the widespread adoption of this “liquid biopsy”. This type of blood test analyzes the rare traces of tumour DNA that are circulating in the blood, but distinguishing tumour DNA from healthy DNA is both difficult and expensive. New methods are needed to improve the accuracy, sensitivity and cost-effectiveness of liquid biopsies so that more patients can benefit from this less-invasive test.
November 8, 2018
Dr. Daniel De Carvalho discusses his study published in Nature Communications, which found a gene signature biomarker that may help predict which patients will respond to immune therapy.