Novel Therapies (POET Program)

A program designed to monitor current treatment responses and to develop new strategies to identify tailored therapies for cancer patients. Our group of researchers proposes to develop new strategies to identify tailored therapies for cancer patients.

Background

Every cancer patient wants treatment that is best suited to them: scientifically selected, timely, likely to be effective, and wherever possible, side-effect-free. They also want access to clinical trials if there is no effective standard treatment for their cancer. Today, the development of new technologies to rapidly sequence and analyze DNA has provided oncologists with the unprecedented opportunity to understand the nature of each patient’s cancer and either customize their treatment using this information or offer a clinical trial of a new drug that targets the driving alteration in their cancer.

With diagnostic tools that are increasingly discerning and biomarkers that reveal the truer nature of each cancer, oncologists can provide patients with tailored therapies, increasing the likelihood of benefit, while avoiding ineffective drugs that may have side effects. Increasingly, the molecular features of the cancer are dictating trial eligibility. Hence, support for a new Precision Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics (POET) Program at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre is a top Institute priority. Successful philanthropy will be necessary to acquire cutting-edge technologies, recruit highly trained personnel, and expand our research capacity so that by 2023, 20% of patients at the new cancer center will be able to join a clinical trial.