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Ontario Tumour Bank celebrates 10th anniversary

Ontario Institute for Cancer Research logo



Ontario Tumour Bank logo


London Health Sciences Centre logo


Lawson Health Research Institute logo


For Immediate Release

September 19, 2014

(TORONTO AND LONDON, ON) – Tom Hudson, President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research today congratulated the Ontario Tumour Bank (OTB) on a successful first 10 years of operation.

OTB is now one of the largest cancer biorepositories in Canada. To date the bank has collected over 111,000 biospecimens from over 14,000 patients and has filled 297 requests from researchers through the release of more than 31,000 samples. The samples it provides have been integral to groundbreaking cancer research both in Canada and around the world, including five high-impact publications in the journal Nature by The Cancer Genome Atlas.

“I am proud to congratulate the Ontario Tumour Bank on its first 10 years of operation,” said Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation. “The OTB provides an incredible service to cancer researchers in Ontario and around the world. And it is helping fuel the next generation of more personalized cancer medicine. Ontario’s strategic investments in research collaborations like the OTB are positioning the province as a global leader in life sciences and will improve the lives of patients who suffer with cancer.”

“When OTB was established 10 years ago, the biobanking of tumour samples for research was a new idea for Ontario, and it was an incredibly important one,” said Dr. John Bartlett, Provincial Principal Investigator for the Ontario Tumour Bank and Director of the Transformative Pathology Program at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. “The ongoing support of our partners in Hamilton, Kingston, London and Ottawa and the hard work of OTB staff across the province have been key to OTB’s success, and have ensured we are well positioned for continued success in the future.”

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is home to the first OTB site established 10 years ago. Over the past decade it has collected more than 10,000 tumour samples that have been shared with researchers across the globe.

"The tumour bank is extremely important for research purposes," says Dr. David Hill, Scientific Director at Lawson Health Research Institute, the research arm of LHSC. "It provides our researchers with high-quality biospecimens and data that are essential for developing better diagnostic tools and new therapies for cancer, helping our researchers reach their goal of providing better care for our patients."

OTB recovers a portion of its costs through access fees for industry and academic researchers. OTB provides a significant discount for Ontario researchers, made possible through OTB’s funding from the Government of Ontario.

About the Ontario Tumour Bank
The Ontario Tumour Bank (OTB) provides cancer researchers with a diverse selection of high-quality biospecimens and derivatives, comprehensively annotated with de-identified clinical data. Since 2004, OTB has been making this this type of research possible by collecting and dispensing the biospecimens needed for high-impact studies. Operating at state-of-the-art hospitals and cancer centres across Ontario, OTB is made possible through collaboration. Working with local pathologists, medical oncologists, surgeons and other hospital personnel, specially trained staff members obtain patient consent, collect tissues and assemble comprehensive clinical information about each donor and the corresponding biospecimens. A unique governance model ensures that OTB meets the highest scientific and ethical standards. OTB is a program of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. For more information please visit www.ontariotumourbank.ca

About Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (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, supported by the Government of Ontario. OICR’s research supports more than 1,700 investigators, clinician scientists, research staff and trainees located at its headquarters and in research institutes and academia across the Province of Ontario. OICR has key research efforts underway in small molecules, biologics, stem cells, imaging, genomics, informatics and bio-computing. For more information, please visit the website at www.oicr.on.ca.

About London Health Science Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 139 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, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 65 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

About Lawson Health Research Institute
As the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Care London, and working in partnership with Western University, Lawson Health Research Institute is committed to furthering scientific knowledge to advance health care around the world. For more information visit www.lawsonresearch.com


For more information please contact:

Ontario Tumour Bank/Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
Christopher Needles
Manager, Strategic Communications
Telephone: 416-673-8505
Mobile: 416-319-5252

Lawson Health Research Institute
Julia Capaldi
Communications Consultant
Telephone: 519-685-8500 ext. 75616
Mobile: 519-200-1115