The TFRI PROFYLE initiative has recruited many of Canada’s leaders in pediatric, adolescent and young adult cancer research and care. Our multidisciplinary team consists of over 50 investigators and collaborators, all working to improve the outcome of young Canadians with high risk cancers. To make the most of the collective knowledge and expertise of our large and talented group, PROFYLE has been structured into committee groups, referred to as nodes.
Each committee oversees the execution of one or more specific research projects, and is chaired by a member of the Program Executive Committee (PEC) who makes sure that the node follows the project plan and timelines. The nodes will be interlinked, with several members sitting on more than one committee.
The Epigenomics/Genomics Node will oversee the planning and implementation of a pan-Canadian personalized medicine platform for high-risk pediatric cancer patients. Leader: Dr Adam Shlien, The Hospital for Sick Children, Ontario.
The Biobanking Node will implement a cross-country strategy for tissue collection, preparation, and storage, ensuring there is uniformity in all processes from coast to coast. Leader: Dr. Jennifer Chan, University of Calgary, Alberta.
This node will establish and implement ethics guiding principles and processes, including ensuring that patients are aware of their medical results, as well as the context of the genomic individual findings, both targeted and incidental. Leader: Dr. Conrad Fernandez, Dalhousie University and IWK Health Centre, Nova Scotia.
Quality Assurance Node
The Quality Assurance Node will work towards harmonizing the quality standards across participating tissue collection sites, sample preparation, sequencing, and analysis centres. This node will ensure there is uniformity in all scientific processes across the country.
This node will develop tools to identify molecular tumour signatures, or collections of genes, proteins, and genetic variants that can be used as a marker for detecting disease in liquid biopsies, such as blood. Leader: Dr. Nada Jabado, Montreal Children’s Hospital and McGill University, Quebec.
Proteomics and Metabolomics Node
Using the proteome, or a set of proteins expressed by an individual at a certain time, to study disease and identify new biomarkers, is the focus of this node. Leader: Dr. Poul Sorensen, BC Cancer Agency, British Columbia.
Data Analysis Node
This team will co-ordinate and execute computer-based analyses and will be responsible for sharing clinical data and analytical technologies within the PROFYLE group. Leader: TBA.
Model System Node
The Model System Node will study disease markers in multiple organisms and initiate the development of new therapeutic compounds and therapies. Leader: Dr. David Eisenstat, University of Alberta, Alberta.
Partnership and Advocacy Node
This group is engaged in raising funds, identifying partnering opportunities, and providing important advocacy support. Leader: Patrick Sullivan, childhood cancer research advocate and the president/founder of the Team Finn Foundation in Vancouver, B.C.
The AYA (Adolescent and Young Adult) Node will ensure seamless integration of 14 to 29-year-old patients into the program. The node will encourage the enrolment of AYA patients in the PROFYLE program, and will also establish a process to access AYA patient data whose genomes have been sequenced as part of adult personalized oncology programs. Co-leaders: Dr. David Eisenstat (University of Alberta, Calgary) and Dr. Abha Gupta (The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto).
The Clinical Node will help navigate the challenges of clinical trials in Canada and the US. Current members of the PROFYLE team are well connected to Canadian pediatric and AYA clinical trial networks, which will facilitate the process. Co-leaders: Dr. Rebecca Deyell (University of British Columbia and BC Children's Hospital, British Columbia) and Dr. Henrique Bittencourt (University of Montreal and Sainte-Justine University Hospital, Quebec).
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