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For Immediate Release

May 31, 2012


Over 10,000 donors have now provided samples to the Ontario Tumour Bank


Toronto, Ontario – May 31, 2012. 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 (LHSC), 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.


LHSC joined the OTB in 2004. Since then, more than 3,500 patients at LHSC have consented to donate to the program. This is facilitated locally by the Departments of Pathology and Surgery, led by Dr. Jeremy Parfitt. LHSC leads the provincial network of collection sites with more than 27,500 samples and 40 per cent of the program’s dispensed samples.


“London Health Sciences Centre offers our congratulations to the OTB on reaching this important milestone. We are proud to be part of this important collaborative effort, which will aid in cancer research and treatment for years to come”, said Bonnie Adamson, LHSC President and CEO.


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.

About OICR

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

About London Health Sciences Centre


London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for 137 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, a joint research initiative with St. Joseph’s Health Care London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 50 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca 


Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
Contact: Christopher Needles
Manager, Editorial Services and Media Relations
Email: christopher.needles@oicr.on.ca
Telephone: 416-673-8505
Mobile: 416-319-5252

London Health Sciences Centre

Contact: Kathy Leblanc

Communications Consultant

Email: Kathy.leblanc@lhsc.on.ca

Telephone: 519-685-8500 Ext. 74772