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Laszlo Radyani

Dr. Laszlo Radvanyi

President & Scientific Director, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR)

Mediaplanet: What does the current landscape of precision oncology look like?

Dr. Laszlo Radvanyi: Oncology has been a highly active and effective proving ground for precision medicine, but also offers one of the biggest challenges. Cancer is very complex. We have made significant progress but we are at an inflection point. Projects like the OICR-led OCTANE study are bringing more genomic testing and tailored treatments to patients across Ontario. We are at the crux of a revolution, and much more research needs to be done to continue our momentum.

What sort of research is currently ongoing that Canadians should be hopeful about?

There are a number of projects that are working together to bring new health benefits to patients. The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project is an ambitious Canadian population health study, following 350,000+ participants across Canada over a long period of time to understand what leads to the development of disease later in life -— a potential game-changer for patients in terms of both treatment and prevention.

There’s also the International Cancer Genome Consortium, which OICR co-leads. It’s current ICGC-ARGO project is a global effort to bring together molecular and clinical data on cancers from more than 100,000 patients across the world to drive precision medicine. Both these projects are working with the Terry Fox Research Institute’s Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres to create a platform to share and integrate data, developing new machine learning solutions to improve precision medicine.

Why is it essential that we support Canadian personalized healthcare research?

We are working toward a learning health system where research and treatment are combined. Continued funding and long-term support are critical to encourage tailored, made-in-Canada solutions to benefit Canadian patients. Canada is poised to be a world leader in personalized health care if we bring all the elements together and work as a team. There is a huge opportunity to make cancer a much more manageable disease and improve life for patients immensely.

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