More Canadians to benefit from personalized cancer treatment

August 14, 2015

Personalized cancer treatment requires complex clinical laboratory testing to determine a tumour’s genetic profile. The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, a leader in providing this testing for its patients, and LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services have begun working together to expand this testing capacity to more Canadians. The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PMCC) has teamed up with…

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Rising prices for new targeted therapeutics threatens their own success

August 14, 2015

One cancer drug alone could wipe out Canada’s total budget of $12B for prescription drugs. Can this last? Drug companies bringing out new targeted therapies for rare disorders are asking, and getting, eye-popping prices. Examples include Kalydeco® for one type of Cystic Fibrosis, reported to cost CAD$300,000 per year, or the recently marketed Solaris® for…

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Can personalized cancer care be cost-effective?

August 14, 2015

A study of personalized cancer care in action found that this approach not only saved money but resulted in better outcomes. Such personalized cancer treatment is available here in Ontario. A small study by Intermountain Healthcare, in Salt Lake City, compared the costs of using personalized medicine in cancer patients with late stage, metastatic disease….

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2015 Large Scale Applied Research Project Competition(LSARP) Natural Resource and the Environment

August 11, 2015

Genome Canada has launched a Request for Applications (RFA) and is seeking proposals for large-scale research projects which focus on the application of genomics to Natural Resources and the Environment. This competition aims to support applied research projects focused on using genomic approaches to address challenges and opportunities of importance to Canada’s natural resources and…

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Genome Canada’s Disruptive Innovations in Genomics (DIG)

August 11, 2015

On June 11, 2015 Genome Canada launched a Request for Applications (RFA) seeking proposals for research projects which focus on Disruptive Innovations in Genomics. For the purposes of this competition, a Disruptive Innovation must be either a new genomics technology or the application of an existing technology from another field, applied to the field of…

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Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP)

August 11, 2015

Genome Canada launched a new funding program on June 3, 2013, seeking proposals which focus on the partnerships of Users and academia and to promote the application of genomics-derived solutions to address key sector challenges or opportunities facing Users – User pull. With this program, Genome Canada aims to fund projects that have defined User…

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Panel finds that access to health data should be a priority

July 16, 2015

An expert panel formed by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) has made five recommendations for improving access to health and health-related data while balancing privacy. The CCA was tasked by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to review the current state of knowledge regarding timely access to health and “health-related” (i.e. social determinants of…

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Can your family doctor help you understand and use genetic technologies?

July 16, 2015

The use of genetics in healthcare is evolving rapidly, yet family doctors and other primary caregivers get little training in genetics. A new Ontario-based website aims to overcome this. Innovations in genomic medicine are presenting new challenges for primary caregivers. What is the family doctor’s next step when a patient comes in who wants to…

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Using genetic information to guide prescribing antidepressant medications.

July 16, 2015

Genetic testing of drug metabolism genes may help personalize the selection of antidepressant medication. While not quite coming out to recommend the testing itself, an expert panel has recommended the use of such test results if they exist. An expert panel has just released guidelines on how to use genetic information when prescribing the most…

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Personalized treatment of Hepatitis C

July 16, 2015

Your Hepatitis C infection could be cured – if you knew that you had it. Ontario recently approved reimbursement of the drug Harvoni® for treatment of the Hepatitis C (HCV) genotype 1 virus. Harvoni® “offers cure rates between 94 and 99%, reduces the incidence of side effects and shortens the duration of treatment to as…

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