Bringing Hope to Children and Young People with Hardest to Treat Cancers

Terry Fox PROFYLE (Precision Oncology For Young People) is a program that serves the kinds of patients who inspired Terry’s Marathon of Hope – children. While there has been dramatic improvement in treatments and outcomes for many pediatric cancers over the last three decades, for the 20% of young people whose cancers have spread, returned, or are resistant to treatment, outcomes remain stubbornly grim.

In a precedent-setting pan-Canadian collaboration, Terry Fox PROFYLE has united a multidisciplinary team of medical and scientific experts in the fields of pediatric oncology to deploy precision medicine in the pursuit of better outcomes for a population urgently in need of more options, more answers, and more hope.

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Unlike most ‘one size fits all’ treatments today, precision medicine can design treatments for individuals based on their genes. It requires big data, the genetic information of thousands of people, to provide researchers with the tools and knowledge to determine which treatment is likely to deliver the best outcomes for patients.

Terry Fox PROFYLE represents a platform upon which Canada’s top researchers can collaborate around each patient’s case. The project harnesses genomic sequencing and next generation molecular tools to identify biomarkers. Existing therapies will be accessible in real time and newly discovered therapies will be added to Terry Fox PROFYLE’s database.

In practice, this means that cancerous tissues from a child in Calgary could be sequenced and profiled in Vancouver to identify the mutations. Clinicians in Toronto could advise on the best treatment, and scientists in Halifax could take that tumor and model it in the laboratory so that treatments and therapies can be developed there and elsewhere for future application.

Through its national implementation of precision medicine, Terry Fox PRFOYLE creates the circumstances to transform our understanding of pediatric oncology, and to give children, families, and ultimately, al Canadians, great hope for a cancer-free future.

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