"Genome BC's investment into this work is farsighted-analysis of this cancer will provide a revised lymphoma treatment model for our province and analytical tools that can be applied to other types of the disease," says Dr. Alan Winter, President & CEO of Genome BC. "This funding closes a gap between novel research and real-time clinical application."
"The BC Cancer Foundation is proud to support this initiative as the BC Cancer Agency's Centre for Lymphoid Cancer is on a trajectory to establish a world-leading model of advanced care, which will truly benefit patients diagnosed with lymphoid cancer," says Douglas Nelson, President & CEO, BC Cancer Foundation.
The research project Personalized treatment of Lymphoid Cancer: British Columbia as a Model Province is funded through Genome Canada's 2012 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition.
Personalized cancer treatment means determining the specific genetic characteristics of a patient's cancer to design unique treatment for that individual. Analysis employing genomic sequencing is now able to accurately decode the entire genetic instructions in malignant and normal cells at a reasonable cost, opening the possibility that doctors will be able to use this information to choose treatments that are specifically designed for that individual patient's cancer.
Lymphoid cancers are, in aggregate, the 4th most common cancer. They are special because even when they have spread widely in the body they can still be successfully treated. Recently, BC researchers have shown that genomic sequencing can recognize specific lymphoid cancers that are often not cured today but which could be treated more effectively using personally designed treatments. This approach will not only cure more lymphoid cancers but it will also save health care dollars.
A reasonable estimate is that the cure rate for several common lymphoid cancers can be increased by at least 20% and, by improving diagnostic accuracy and keeping patients from relapsing, save the province of British Columbia more than $2.5 million each year.
To date, genomic personalization of lymphoid cancer treatment has only been applied in research settings, not day-to-day medical care.
The project team will demonstrate that genomics tools can be provided for lymphoid cancer patients all across British Columbia in a practical way that rapidly and cost-effectively enables local cancer specialists to use special genomic sequencing information to identify different, more effective treatments than would otherwise be offered. They will use BC as a real world laboratory to show how to use genomic analysis to cost-effectively cure more cancer patients in a way that can readily be duplicated elsewhere around the world.
Researchers will also design a whole provincial specimen acquisition and treatment guidance report consisting of personnel, standard operating procedures, specimen transportation and analysis procedures, report generation, report interpretation by an expert panel, communication procedures to provide treatment guidance for the primary oncologist and database recording to track the whole system.
About the BC Cancer Foundation:
The BC Cancer Foundation is the bridge that connects philanthropic support and research breakthroughs in cancer knowledge. As the fundraising partner of the BC Cancer Agency and the largest charitable funder of cancer research in this province, we enable donors to make contributions to leading-edge research that has a direct impact on improvements to cancer care for patients in British Columbia. We fund with the goal of finding solutions. As an independent charitable organization, we raise funds exclusively for the BC Cancer Agency that support innovative cancer research and compassionate enhancements to patient care.
About Genome British Columbia:
Genome British Columbia is a catalyst for the life sciences cluster on Canada's West Coast, and manages a cumulative portfolio of over $625M in research projects and science and technology platforms. Working with governments, academia and industry across sectors such as forestry, fisheries, agriculture, environment, bioenergy, mining and human health, the goal of the organization is to generate social and economic benefits for British Columbia and Canada. www.genomebc.ca
BC Cancer Foundation
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