A Collaborative Project with the Vancouver Prostate Centre Aims to Improve Patient Selection for Clinical Trials

Date Posted: 
2010-10-29

The Vancouver Prostate Centre today announced a one-year collaborative project with Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation. The project will use cutting-edge technology to identify and validate the molecular targets that predict cancer sensitivity or insensitivity to specific inhibitors. Ultimately these insights may enable clinicians to more accurately select patients who are likely to benefit from a particular clinical trial.

Using its unique expertise in prostate cancer, advanced genomics and bioinformatics, the Vancouver Prostate Centre will delve deeper into the comprehensive genetic analysis of 1000 cell lines and internal data that that have been developed by the Novartis Oncology Translational Medicine group. The data identifies the growth inhibitory activity of numerous compounds in approximately 500 of these cell lines.

“We are pleased to be working with Novartis to potentially add value to the data they’ve already generated by uncovering new sensitivity signatures and pathways,” says Dr. Martin Gleave, director of the Vancouver Prostate Centre.

Specifically, the genetic, molecular, and pharmacologic data for the compounds will be provided to Dr. Colin Collins, Director of the Laboratory for Advanced Genome Analysis at the Vancouver Prostate Centre, for his team to derive and validate sensitivity signatures. The ultimate goal is to use such signatures to better design clinical trials, improve patient selection and maximize the benefits of potential drug treatments by understanding patient responses.

“Our Laboratory for Advanced Genome Analysis at the Vancouver Prostate Centre, headed by Dr. Collins, represents a major initiative in computer science and bioinformatics expertise and equipment and significantly augments and complements our substantial microarray and sequencing services and allows us to take on this type of specialized analysis," Dr. Gleave adds.

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The Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC) has a track record of success that has earned it a reputation as one of the world’s most respected cancer facilities. It is a National Centre of Excellence and a designated Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research.

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