TORONTO, June 5, 2015
Thousands of Canadian cancer patients may soon benefit from more targeted, personalized cancer treatment following an investment by the Government of Canada.
The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) and Bernard Trottier, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Lakeshore, accompanied by Lorne Hepworth, Chair of Genome Canada, announced nearly $16 million in funding for four new research projects under the third round of Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP). The announcement was made at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, where the Minister, Mr. Trottier and Mr. Hepworth toured the lab of Dr. Suzanne Kamel-Reid, Head, Clinical Laboratory Genetics and Director, Molecular Diagnostics, University Health Network.
Dr. Kamel-Reid will be working with LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services to develop a program to personalize cancer treatment by providing genomic profiling, which has the potential to save thousands of lives. By establishing a genomic profile of various cancers, healthcare providers can offer the right drug at the right time to a patient, improving cancer treatment outcomes for Canadians coast to coast. Further, the infrastructure to be developed in this project represents a major advance towards achieving substantial cost- savings in the healthcare system for multiple cancer types.
GAPP projects partner academic researchers with “users” of genomics (e.g. industry, provincial governments, non-profits, or other organizations) to develop innovations that are expected to have considerable economic and social impacts within the near term.
Other projects announced in this third round of program funding involve using genomics to: enhance soybean oil for commercial use; improve outcomes for lung transplant patients; and, grow more resilient and higher quality conifer trees that can help the Canadian forest industry compete more effectively on a global level.
View archived webcast of announcement: