Led to the identification of genes associated with several diseases including breast cancer, autism and diabetes, helping with earlier disease diagnoses and quicker treatment
Resulted in less invasive diagnoses – simple testing of genes rather than cutting a patient open
The identification of drugs matched to a genetic profile such as herceptin or cisplatin that increase efficiency and reduce unnecessary adverse events. Several Ontario researchers are playing their part in driving health research forward:
Dr. Jayne Danska, SickKids, is discovering new genetic markers and identifying environmental exposures that increase type 1 diabetes risk, with the long-term aim of reducing disease risk through therapeutic intervention
Dr. Stephen Scherer, SickKids, is using genome scanning and sequencing technology to probe the DNA of 10,000 individuals with autism to identify susceptibility genes important for early intervention
Dr. Sachdev Sidhu, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and Dr. Charles Boone, Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, are working towards developing a process and infrastructure for efficient and large-scale production of synthetic antibody reagents to target cancer and other devastating diseases
Dr. Kym Boycott, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, and her team across Canada are studying more than 70 childhood genetic diseases to help understand disease causing genes and find new treatments
In cancerous breast tissue cells the HER2 gene triggers the cell to divide and multiply at an accelerated rate leading to tumour growth. Herceptin® (a HER2 antibody) binds to numerous HER2 receptor sites found on the cell surface, blocking the receptor sites and possibly preventing further tumour growth by interrupting the growth signal.