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.

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March 22, 2017

FACIT Announces Investment in Propellon Therapeutics

Seed financing of CAD$3.0M positions first-in-class WDR5 cancer therapy for clinical development

TORONTO, March 22, 2017 /CNW/ – FACIT announced a seed stage investment in Propellon Therapeutics (the “Company” or “Propellon”), a start-up created by FACIT focused on developing a portfolio of WDR5-targeted anti-cancer therapeutics. FACIT’s investment, combined with non-dilutive capital, achieves a targeted $3.0M financing for the lead program. The seed funding enables Propellon to accelerate the nomination of a candidate drug and position the Company for financing and/or entering a strategic partnership for clinical trials in patients with haematological cancers.

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March 17, 2017

OICR joins other organizations in inspiring the next generation of female scientists

Two lab technicians work in a lab.

On International Women’s Day, OICR scientists attended the first-ever Metamorphosis Girls STEM Conference at John Polanyi Collegiate Institute in Toronto. There, the researchers helped expose female grade seven and eight students to the various fields and career opportunities within science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) – with an emphasis on encouraging the next generation of female scientists to pursue a career in STEM fields.

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March 16, 2017

Researchers discover new test that could change the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer

Dr. Paul Boutros

Genetic tests are being used more commonly in the diagnosis of many types of cancer. However, there currently isn’t a highly accurate test that can identify men with aggressive forms of prostate cancer, making it more difficult to choose the most appropriate course of treatment.

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March 9, 2017

Innovative technique greatly increases sensitivity of DNA sequencing

Dr. Paul Krzyzanowski

New molecular barcode technology reduces error rate in genomic sequencing to 1 in 10,000

Toronto (March 9, 2017) – Researchers at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), together with international collaborators, have invented a technique to avoid a major problem with common laboratory techniques and improve the sensitivity of important cancer tests.

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March 8, 2017

In London, OICR leaders discussed cancer research advancements being made in the city. How can OICR help further translate these breakthroughs to patients?

London, Ontario

Ontario’s wealth of cancer research expertise is not limited to one city or region. Innovations from researchers and clinician-scientists across the province are changing the approach to cancer worldwide. London is one of Ontario’s major cancer research nodes and boasts a particular strength in developing medical imaging technology. The city is home to the Lawson Health Research Institute, Robarts Research Institute and the Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization. Life science and biotechnology research is the source of $1.5 billion in economic activity for the city annually.

Continue reading – In London, OICR leaders discussed cancer research advancements being made in the city. How can OICR help further translate these breakthroughs to patients?

March 7, 2017

Software Engineering Club: Distributed Ledgers, Blockchains and Smart Contracts

Dusan Andric, a Software Developer at OICR, provides an introduction into the ideas, technologies, and use cases of distributed ledgers, blockchains and smart contracts.