Expertise & Services


Our Functional Genomics core has proven expertise in designing experiments to develop and test pre-clinical treatment strategies using validated models that recapitulate human biology. Model systems are used for validation of novel therapeutics designed to target genetic and molecular aberrations associated with aggressive prostate cancer that are identified using next-generation sequencing in human tumour and circulating free DNA samples.


The Functional Genomics Core provides valuable tools with high clinical relevance for studying the molecular and cellular development and progression of prostate cancer, including:

  • Rapid and comprehensive evaluation of novel small molecules and biologics in preclinical model systems including:
    • Cytotoxicity assays
    • Clonogenic assays
    • Biomarker assays (established or novel)
    • Drug-target and off-target interaction assays
    • Drug-drug interactions
    • in vitro and in vivo tumour cell lines
  • An existing variety of cell lines and models (xenograft and transgenic) including:
    • models for disease progression from androgen dependent to castrate resistant prostate cancer
    • tumors/cells resistant to newly approved AR antagonist enzalutamide 
    • novel first-in-field neuroendocrine trans-differentiation patient-derived xenografts
  • Fully functioning suites for the generation and analysis of xenografts, transgenics and PDXs
  • Liquid nitrogen tanks for storage of patient and PDX tissue
  • Preparation and in vivo application of gene targeting techniques to test pre-clinical efficacy of novel anti-cancer agents, including:
    • antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs, siRNA)
    • novel small molecule or antibody inhibitors
    • novel combination therapies
  • Viral delivery for gain-of-function analyses
  • Antisense/RNAi/CRISPR-Cas9 technology for loss-of-function analyses

The Living Tumour Laboratory

The Living Tumor Lab is a unique and valuable resource, which grows a wide variety of patient-derived cancer tissues, including both low and high-grade solid cancers. This work enables researchers to readily study human cancer tissue in vivo, and develop a variety of transplantable tumour tissue lines that can be used as models for studying cancer growth/progression/metastasis and drug sensitivity.

For more information visit

A World Class Centre

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.


2016 Step Up team

Step Up Challenge fundraiser: February 25, 2018

The annual Step Up Challenge, raising funds for Prostate Cancer Canada, takes place in Vancouver on Sunday February 25. Click here to sponsor our relay team as they climbs 379 floors. Click here to volunteer to help with the event.

It's a Snow Day poster

It's A Snow Day at Mt. Seymour: March 9

Mt. Seymour is hosting It's A Snow Day, a fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC, on Friday March 9. The event will include slope time, a reception, and a silent auction. Click here for more details including how to register, donate and/or sponsor.




Work at the Vancouver Prostate Centre

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Discovery of a promising new medication to block "master key" of cancer growth

Dr. Chris Ong
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Drs. Wyatt and Chi: ctDNA predicts resistance to AR-targeted therapy

VCHRI News article on study of ctDNA predicting resistance to AR-targeted therapy

Make A Difference

Help the Vancouver Prostate Centre fund research to find better treatments and a cure.