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Tumour bank to help scientists obtain samples for research


Toronto, ON – The Canadian Tumour Repository Network (CTRNet) has established a national tumour bank registry and research infrastructure network that will enable cancer investigators to obtain samples for their research and increase the rate of discovery.

“CTRNet’s national network is the first in North America to provide researchers worldwide with access to a comprehensive source of tissue and clinical data. CTRNet now has more than 7,000 samples available,” says Peter Geary, the organization’s director and CEO. “Providing access to research materials is a critical step towards understanding cancer at the molecular level.”

“We know that current cancer therapies work well for a lot of patients but are not successful for others with the same diagnosis,” says Dr Philip Branton, scientific director of CIHR’s Institute of Cancer Research. “We are trying to find out why this happens so that we can tailor treatment to individuals with greater certainty of success. The availability of tumour samples will allow cancer researchers to investigate the relationship between the genetic and biological properties of a tumour and a patient’s response to cancer treatment.”

CTRNet, with its head office in CancerCare Manitoba, is a consortium of six collection programs, including the Fonds de la recherche en sant du Qubec, the Ontario Cancer Research Network, Cancer Care Manitoba Breast Tumour Bank, the Alberta Cancer Board Research Tumour Bank, the BC Cancer Agency Tumour Tissue Repository and the National Cancer Institute of Cancer – Clinical Trials Group Tumour Bank. Each program maintains collecting facilities, which are linked electronically. Cancer investigators worldwide can obtain samples for their research, increasing the rate of discovery. With the guidance of the Canadian Association of Provincial Cancer Agencies (CAPCA), the members of the consortium will work together to ensure that researchers can access quality-controlled materials to facilitate their research.