Approximately 200,000 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer each year. More than one in four of these patients can benefit from targeted treatment based on a genomic analysis of their tumours. Indeed, genome-based tumour profiling helps treat patients with the right drug at the right time, improving outcomes and saving lives. However, at present this breakthrough testing is not widely available and is currently only being used in a clinical trial setting for patients with advanced cancers at one Toronto Hospital, and its collaborators.
This genomics project between Dr. Suzanne Kamel-Reid of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services, Canada’s leading diagnostic lab company, is the first step in providing national market access to this potentially vital information.
In addition to saving lives, personalized cancer medicine data can reduce healthcare costs significantly, as the cost of treatment can be up to 10 times more than the cost of laboratory genomic cancer testing. Projected to total Canadian healthcare expenditures, genomic tumour profiling is expected to save the healthcare system hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
The genomics project aims to develop a cloud-based cancer genome analysis infrastructure and shared interfaces between Princess Margaret and LifeLabs that will make this vital information available to all Canadians.