November 9, 2016
Men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer face a difficult dilemma: either wait and see how the growth develops and whether it is aggressive, or treat it fully right away and risk the many long-term side effects of treatment. Dr. Tamara Jamaspishvili is a young researcher at Queen’s University in Kingston who is working to change that.
October 19, 2016
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian men and while it has been the focus of extensive research, an estimated 4,000 Canadians die of the disease each year. That is why six years ago Dr. Paul Boutros and Dr. Rob Bristow set out to sequence the normal and diseased tissue of 350 patients and learn from a clinical perspective how genomic information can be used to guide better treatment.
October 12, 2016
Prostate cancer is a complex disease. In a clinical setting it can be hard for doctors to accurately predict outcomes for prostate cancer patients, especially for those deemed to be at an intermediate risk of recurrence. With intermediate risk cancers, unlike those that are high or low risk, it is unclear how the cancer will develop. This makes it difficult to choose exactly the right therapy and avoid unnecessary treatments and their associated side effects.
September 15, 2016
Dr. Paul Boutros, Principal Investigator in Informatics and Bio-computing at OICR, spoke to our partners at Prostate Cancer Canada/Movember Canada about the role of genomics and informatics in prostate cancer research. Boutros also spoke about the CPC-GENE project – the largest study of prostate cancer genomics in the world.
August 16, 2016
Noncoding RNA may play a bigger role in driving prostate cancer development and progression that previously thought.
On Monday the University Health Network’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre announced that prostate cancer researchers, funded in part by OICR, have pinpointed the key regulatory role of 45 noncoding genes in the development and progression of prostate cancer. The research was published in Nature Genetics.
July 4, 2016
OICR congratulates Drs. Mark Levine, Eduardo L. Franco and Gerald Batist, new recipients of the Order of Canada
Three cancer researchers were invested into the Order of Canada over the weekend, including Dr. Mark Levine, C.M., who was honoured for his contributions as an oncologist, researcher and clinician and because he has developed several new treatments for cancer patients that are now used as standard of practice in Canada.
Levine is Director of the Ontario Clinical Oncology Group (OCOG), Chair of the Department of Oncology for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University and a medical oncologist at Juravinski Cancer Centre at Hamilton Health Sciences.
June 28, 2016
OICR’s Dr. Clare Jeon discusses how the discovery of protein signatures could lead to cheaper, easier diagnostic tests for prostate cancer
Researchers at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, University Health Network and Eastern Virginia Medical School, in a paper published today in the journal Nature Communications, have identified protein signatures in urine that can accurately diagnose aggressive prostate cancer. The signatures could be used to develop a test for prostate cancer that uses a patient’s urine sample to determine whether he has prostate cancer and another test that could identify how aggressive the disease is. This would help to replace more invasive tests such as PSA test and biopsy, which also have high rates of over-diagnosis and in many cases lead to over-treatment.
June 28, 2016
Researchers discover protein signatures for accurate non-invasive diagnosis of aggressive prostate cancer
Toronto (June 28, 2016) – Researchers at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto, along with researchers at the Eastern Virginia Medical School, have created protein signatures that accurately diagnose prostate cancer and can distinguish between patients with aggressive versus non-aggressive disease using a simple urine sample. The findings could be developed into a non-invasive “liquid biopsy” that could provide a faster, cheaper and easier method to detect prostate cancer with fewer complications for patients. The findings were published today in the journal Nature Communications.
June 1, 2016
Dr. Laurence Klotz of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is a world leader in the field of prostate cancer research. He has been a champion of active surveillance (also known as watchful waiting) for over 20 years, an approach to prostate cancer treatment that has allowed thousands of men with low-risk prostate cancer to avoid or delay therapy by monitoring it closely instead of immediately treating it.
Now Klotz has launched a new clinical trial called PRECISE, funded with $3 million in support by the Movember Foundation, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and Prostate Cancer Canada, that will use MRI to help to better diagnose prostate cancer without invasive biopsy.
May 18, 2016
Mr. J. Mark Lievonen, a member of OICR’s Board of Directors, and Dr. Laurence Klotz, a doctor and researcher based at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto, who has conducted OICR-funded research into prostate cancer, were invested as Members in the Order of Canada at a ceremony in Ottawa on May 13.
January 25, 2016
Researchers in OICR’s Informatics and Bio-computing and Genome Technologies Programs, together with their collaborators, have discovered a new sub-type of prostate cancer. The findings, published in the journal Nature Genetics, will assist scientists in creating better diagnostic tests and improve the personalized treatment of prostate cancer. The study was conducted as part of the Canadian Prostate Cancer Genome Network (CPC-GENE), a multidisciplinary team of researchers from across the country that is studying the genetic code of prostate cancer to better predict how patients will respond to treatment. CPC-GENE is part of the Canadian contribution to the International Cancer Genome Consortium.
May 25, 2015
Movember Foundation, Prostate Cancer Canada and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research funded research breakthrough published in Nature Genetics
TORONTO, ON (May 25, 2015) The results of groundbreaking genetics research in Canada, funded by the Movember Foundation, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and Prostate Cancer Canada, has identified a unique sub-type of prostate cancer that will help clinicians develop more personalized treatments for their patients, ensure that fewer men undergo unnecessary treatments and improve their chances of survival. The research has been published today in a paper, titled, Spatio-genomic heterogeneity and within localized, multi-focal prostate cancer in Nature Genetics.
Currently, tests that predict whether a patient’s cancer will progress or will respond to specific treatments are limited and existing tests can miss areas of aggressive prostate cancer meaning that men could be “understaged” and given treatments which do not work appropriately for the severity of their specific disease. Researchers at the University Health Network and OICR identified for the first time, a new gene involved in prostate cancer, which, when mutated, leads to unique sub-type of prostate cancer that is associated with DNA damage and a more aggressive type of cancer. The researchers also demonstrated that a single man could have multiple, genetically distinct prostate cancers, and outlined how this variability would impact the delivery of personalized therapy for prostate cancer patients.
“This work is a wonderful example of what happens when a multi-disciplinary team of researchers applies cutting-edge technology to ask clinically-relevant questions,” said Dr. Paul Boutros, a principal investigator at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, who co-led the research, “The discovery of a new oncogene in prostate cancer opens a brand-new field for researchers to try to understand prostate cancer biology and treatment. Meanwhile the characterization of the way mutations in prostate cancer vary spatially from one region of a tumour to another will facilitate the development and application of personalized therapies by helping researchers understand why new diagnostic tests fail.”
“The discoveries are a further step along the road to personalizing prostate cancer medicine,” said Dr. Robert Bristow, a clinician-scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre who co-led the research with Dr. Boutros. “Our research shows how prostate cancers can vary from one man to another – despite the same pathology under the microscope – as well as how it can vary within one man who may have multiple tumour types in his prostate.”
“This is a significant development and one that will positively impact the treatment for many men around the world. As a strategic funder of men’s health programs, our prostate cancer goal is for men living with the disease to have the treatment and care needed to be physically and mentally well,” said Paul Villanti, Movember Foundation, Executive Director, Programs. “This piece of work is an important step in helping to achieve our goals in this space. This research demonstrates the considerable impact that Movember funds are having, the results of which have the potential to benefit hundreds of thousands of men and their families around the world.”
“A significant number of prostate cancer cases involve more than one type of cancer cell, and this is a discovery that will provide profound insights into the future of prostate cancer detection and treatment,” said Dr. Stuart Edmonds, Vice-President, Research, Health Promotion & Survivorship with Prostate Cancer Canada. “Breakthroughs such as this are a testament to the comprehensive work being done within the CPC-GENE Network, and Prostate Cancer Canada is proud to be a part of such a large-scale, cohesive collaboration.”
The study is part of a larger initiative called the Canadian Prostate Cancer Genome Network (CPC-GENE) that has brought together a team of multidisciplinary researchers from across Canada to crack the genetic code of prostate cancer. CPC-GENE researchers are identifying mutations in the DNA sequences of prostate cancer to develop better ways of detecting tumours, determining tumour aggressiveness and identifying the best treatment needed to personalize prostate cancer medicine for individual patients. CPCGENE is funded by the Movember Foundation with an investment of $15 million, the largest donation ever made by the Foundation to a single research project, Prostate Cancer Canada and OICR, which has contributed $5 million to the Network. This study was conducted with assistance from the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.