Genetic tests to guide brain cancer treatment

September 22, 2017

Doctors at Sick Kids have developed tests to analyze the molecular makeup of individual brain tumours, leading to the possibility of personalized treatment. Hospitals from around the world are sending their patient’s tumour samples to Sick Kids for this molecular analysis.

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Sun Life to look at effectiveness of pharmacogenetics on plan members

September 13, 2017

Sun Life Financial will be offering plan members on short- and long-term disability leave for depression or anxiety the chance to take part in a study on the impact of pharmacogenetic testing. The insurer is participating in a study that examines the effectiveness of the technology in partnership with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and personalized medicine provider Assurex Health Inc.

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Too many drug trials, too few patients

August 23, 2017

With the arrival of two revolutionary treatment strategies, immunotherapy and personalized medicine, cancer researchers have found new hope — and a problem that is perhaps unprecedented in medical research. There are too many experimental cancer drugs in too many clinical trials, and not enough patients to test them on.

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North Bay pharmacy using DNA to tailor prescriptions

August 23, 2017

First in North Bay, but eventually all of Canada, ProZed Pharmacy Solutions is introducing access to a DNA test that aims to provide physicians with more accurate information about what medication might work, and in what doses. Samples are collected at the pharmacy and tested by Minnesota-based OneOme to help guide prescribing for a variety of drugs including those for anxiety and heart attack recovery.

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Canadian database of genetic variants proves its worth

August 3, 2017

Clinical diagnostic laboratories may classify DNA variants differently from each other based on information difficult to share with the broader community. Toronto research Dr. Jordan Lerner-Ellis led a pan-Canadian collaboration of clinical diagnostic labs to evaluate the use of a communal database (opengenetics.ca) to harmonize test results.

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Big Data Shows Big Promise in Medicine

August 3, 2017

In handling some kinds of life-or-death medical judgments, computers have already have surpassed the abilities of doctors. We’re looking at something like promise of self-driving cars, according to Zak Kohane, a doctor and researcher at Harvard Medical School. In medicine, replacing intuition with machine intelligence might save patients from deadly drug side effects or otherwise incurable cancers.

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Sequencing healthy patients reveals many carry rare genetic disease risks

June 29, 2017

Whole genome sequencing of healthy individuals as a way to predict and prevent disease will, however, inevitably reveal variants that put them at risk for rare genetic conditions – only some of which have health implications. The MedSeq Project examined responses to such results, in both patients and doctors, and revealed “reassuring evidence that primary care providers can be trained to manage their patients’ sequencing results appropriately, and that patients who receive their results are not likely to experience anxiety connected to those results,” said Jason Vassy, lead author.

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