TORONTO, May 31, 2012 /CNW/ - Dr. Tom Hudson, President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), today announced that the Ontario Tumour Bank (OTB) has now banked samples from more than 10,000 donors. This is an important milestone for the OTB, a province-wide biorepository and data bank led by OICR that is focused on the collection of tumour-related blood and tissue samples for cancer research.
"The Ontario Tumour Bank provides cancer researchers with high-quality biospecimens and data that are essential to developing better diagnostic tools and new therapies for cancer," said Dr. Hudson. "On behalf of OICR I would like to congratulate and thank all those who have worked to reach this milestone and make this initiative such a success."
The OTB is a collaboration between OICR and four academic teaching hospitals across Ontario: Kingston General Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and The Ottawa Hospital. At each hospital, dedicated tumour bank staff collect samples and clinical data from consenting donors while following a strict set of procedures and ethical guidelines. The OTB also coordinates the storage, annotation, further processing and distribution of the samples.
Samples collected by the OTB help cancer researchers to analyze cancer at the genetic and molecular level and they are essential to help map the genomic changes present in many forms of cancer. This will help to build the next generation of diagnostic tools and treatments for cancer, including more personalized medicine.
"Having 10,000 donors is about more than just a number. It shows that both donors and researchers continue to trust the Ontario Tumour Bank to successfully carry out its important role in Ontario's cancer research community," said Dr. John Bartlett, Provincial Principal Investigator, OTB and Director of OICR's Transformative Pathology Platform. "I'd like to thank the donors who have contributed to the Ontario Tumour Bank for their commitment to moving cancer research forward and to helping future generations of cancer patients."
"Reaching this point would not have been possible without the generosity of donors themselves and the commitment to excellence demonstrated by our partner sites across Ontario," said Ms. Sugy Kodeeswaran, Director, Ontario Tumour Bank. "Now that the Ontario Tumour Bank has more than 111,000 samples from 10,000 donors, we can offer researchers access to the diversity and large numbers of samples required for significant progress in research."
For more information on the Ontario Tumour Bank, please visit: www.ontariotumourbank.ca.
OICR is an innovative cancer research and development institute dedicated to prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The Institute is an independent, not-for-profit corporation, launched by the Government of Ontario in 2005. The annual budget for OICR, its research partners and collaborators exceeds $160 million. This supports more than 1,500 investigators, clinician scientists, research staff and trainees located at its headquarters and in research institutes and academia across the Province of Ontario. It has research hubs in Hamilton, Kingston, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Toronto. OICR has key research efforts underway in small molecules, biologics, stem cells, imaging, genomics, informatics and bio-computing, from early stage research to Phase III clinical trials. For more information, please visit the website at www.oicr.on.ca
For further information:
Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
Contact: Christopher Needles
Manager, Editorial Services and Media Relations