Adaptive Oncology
Adaptive Oncology
Inquiries

Associate Director
Dr. Michelle Brazas
michelle.brazas@oicr.on.ca

Telephone: 416-673-8502
Mobile: 416-357-6687

Introduction

The goal of the Adaptive Oncology (AO) Initiative is to develop “adaptive” approaches to cancer management that anticipate how tumours change over the course of time and in response to therapy.

The Initiative, one of OICR’s three key priority research areas, brings together OICR researchers with expertise in genomics, bioinformatics, machine learning, imaging, robotics and histopathology.

What do we mean by ‘Adaptive Oncology’?

Adaptive Oncology (AO), is a term describing a paradigm in which an understanding of the evolutionary history of a patient’s tumour is used to inform clinical management strategies.

Over the past decade, large cancer genome sequencing efforts have catalogued unexpected diversity amongst cancer genomes. Several hundred novel cancer driver genes have been identified, and a broad spectrum of genomic alterations ranging from single base substitutions to whole genome duplications is now implicated in tumour initiation, progression and therapeutic response. Over the same period, research has discovered extensive spatial and temporal heterogeneity in cancer.

We now know that most or all tumours consist of a polyclonal community of genetically distinct cells which evolve over time to adapt to therapy, the immune system and the microenvironment.

Mission

OICR’s AO Initiative seeks to develop knowledge and approaches to monitor cancer over its life cycle in order to enable precise and proactive clinical management.

Our research will create the groundwork for new clinical and diagnostic paradigms that use the knowledge of spatial and temporal heterogeneity to select the right therapy at the right time.

In turn, these paradigms will create opportunities for commercialization via knowledge bases of predictive biomarkers, diagnostic testing services, decision software systems and novel imaging instrumentation.

Programs
Computational Biology

Computational Biology

Utilizes datasets from multiple sources for the development and application of algorithms for cancer genome analysis, biomarker discovery, cancer pathway discovery, data integration and tumour evolution research. Learn more about Computational Biology

Diagnostic Development

Diagnostic Development

Initiates, disseminates and nurtures expertise in the development of diagnostic assays and supports the rapid implementation of precision medicine. Learn more about Diagnostic Development

Genomics

Genomics

Provides large-scale, next generation sequencing cancer genomics capabilities to researchers in Ontario and beyond. Learn more about Genomics

Genome Informatics

Genome Informatics

Develops new software, databases and other necessary components to store, organize and compute over the large and complex datasets being generated by OICR’s cancer research programs. Learn more about Genome Informatics

Imaging

Imaging

Accelerates the translation of research findings and developments of new imaging techniques and probes for cancer into clinical practice. Learn more about Imaging

Projects

Early Detection of Prostate Cancer
This project aims to provide a method to guide prostate biopsy accurately and efficiently by developing a prostate biopsy-guidance system to be integrated into the prostate-specific PET system and a superior PET imaging tracer.
Learn more about this project

Mapping of Heterogeneity in Early Prostate Cancer
This project aims to determine if MRI-guided targeted biopsy, together with the PRONTO molecular signature test can better detect hidden, high-risk prostate cancer cases compared to the current methods. Learn more about this project

OCTANE 2.0
This project aims to integrate molecular data with imaging data to aid development of computational tools and predictive models for aiding clinical decision making. Learn more about this project

Resources
Global Alliance for Genomics and Health

Global Alliance for Genomics and Health

GA4GH was formed to help accelerate the potential of genomic medicine to advance human health.
Learn more about GA4GH

ICGC/ ICGC ARGO

ICGC-ARGO

The ICGC generated comprehensive catalogues of genomic abnormalities in tumours from 50 different cancer types. ICGC AGRO takes the next step in this work by analyzing 100,000 genomes and integrating patient health data to address key clinical and biological questions.
Learn more about ICGC-ARGO

Ontario Tumour Bank

Ontario Tumour Bank

A province-wide biorepository and data bank focused on collection of tumour-related human biospecimens. Learn more about Ontario Tumour Bank

Networks
Ontario Molecular Pathology Research Network

Ontario Molecular Pathology Research Network

A province-wide network of pathologists collaborating to carry out high-quality cancer research with a clear potential for clinical impact. Learn more about Ontario Molecular Pathology Research Network

Ontario Hereditary Cancer Research Network

Ontario Hereditary Cancer Research Network

Ontario Hereditary Cancer Research Network is the first registry of its kind in Canada and will be used to understand the biology, prevention, early detection and treatment of hereditary cancers.

In the News
OICR Genomics earns internationally recognized accreditation
OICR Genomics earns internationally recognized accreditation
Apr 07, 2022
Mammography innovator changing how we see cancer
Mammography innovator changing how we see cancer
Mar 30, 2022
New funding from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research supports projects developing methods for cancer detection and tools to facilitate better treatment decisions for high-risk cancer patients
New funding from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research supports projects developing methods for cancer detection and tools to facilitate better treatment decisions for high-risk cancer patients
Dec 01, 2021
International Cancer Genome Consortium empowers cancer researchers everywhere with new cloud computing platform
International Cancer Genome Consortium empowers cancer researchers everywhere with new cloud computing platform
Nov 23, 2021
New prognostic biomarkers and cancer-driving genes found in the dark matter of the cancer genome
New prognostic biomarkers and cancer-driving genes found in the dark matter of the cancer genome
Nov 15, 2021
With astonishing speed, OICR team creates national COVID-19 genomic data portal
With astonishing speed, OICR team creates national COVID-19 genomic data portal
May 07, 2021
OICR to contribute to new Canadian COVID-19 data portal
OICR to contribute to new Canadian COVID-19 data portal
Apr 08, 2021
OICR-affiliated researchers awarded $6.6 million in funding from CIHR
OICR-affiliated researchers awarded $6.6 million in funding from CIHR
Mar 09, 2021
OICR’s Dr. John Bartlett named one of the top-cited authors in the Journal of Clinical Oncology
OICR’s Dr. John Bartlett named one of the top-cited authors in the Journal of Clinical Oncology
Feb 17, 2021
Standards redefined: What lab accreditation means to OICR Genomics
Standards redefined: What lab accreditation means to OICR Genomics
Feb 03, 2021
Q&A with new OICR Investigator Dr. Shraddha Pai on uncovering the hidden differences between cancers
Q&A with new OICR Investigator Dr. Shraddha Pai on uncovering the hidden differences between cancers
Jan 08, 2021
How natural selection influences gene expression and can protect us from disease
How natural selection influences gene expression and can protect us from disease
Jul 20, 2022
Clinical trial breaks new ground on using immunotherapy for more cancer types
Clinical trial breaks new ground on using immunotherapy for more cancer types
Sep 07, 2021
OICR Genomics achieves CAP laboratory accreditation
OICR Genomics achieves CAP laboratory accreditation
Apr 26, 2021
Researchers uncover evolutionary forces at play in the aging of the blood system and identify people at increased risk of blood cancer
Researchers uncover evolutionary forces at play in the aging of the blood system and identify people at increased risk of blood cancer
Aug 17, 2021
Unravelling the secrets of the non-coding cancer genome
Unravelling the secrets of the non-coding cancer genome
Jun 11, 2021
Making liver cancer ablations more accurate with 3D ultrasound guidance
Making liver cancer ablations more accurate with 3D ultrasound guidance
Aug 02, 2022