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$10M supports genomic research into lymphoid cancer


Vancouver, BC – Researchers at the BC Cancer Agency will receive $10 million in funding to further their work in finding a cost-effective, genomic approach to treat lymphoid cancer.

“This funding allows BC to become a real world laboratory to show how we can use genomic analysis cost effectively to treat more cancer patients in a way that can readily be duplicated elsewhere around the world,” says Dr. Joseph Connors, project leader and clinical director at the BC Cancer Agency’s Centre for Lymphoid Cancer. “It brings together a culmination of decades of meticulous record-keeping with cutting-edge technology to maximize our knowledge about lymphoid cancers.”

Dr. Connors adds that recent research has shown that genomic sequencing can recognize specific lymphoid cancers that are often untreatable with current technology. These cancers could be treated more effectively using personally designed treatments – and Dr. Connors and his team intend to provide this type of treatment in the near future.

The research project will study four specific lymphoid cancers. Core components of the project will include careful analysis of all the costs that result from personalized lymphoid cancer care and development of economic analytic tools that enable healthcare planners to assess the economic impact of applying similar techniques to treating other cancers and other diseases.

“Genome BC’s investment into this work is farsighted—analysis of this cancer will provide a revised lymphoma treatment model for our province and analytical tools that can be applied to other types of the disease,” says Dr. Alan Winter, President & CEO of Genome BC. “This funding closes a gap between novel research and real-time clinical application.”

The funding is being provided by Genome British Columbia, the BC Cancer Foundation, Genome Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).