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Terry Fox PROFYLE: How it works


THE TERRY FOX PROFYLE initiative has recruited many of Canada’s leaders in pediatric, adolescent and young adult cancer research and care. Our multidisciplinary team consists of more than 50 investigators and collaborators, all working to improve the outcomes of young Canadians with high-risk cancers. There are currently more than 30 patients from across Canada (all provinces represented) enrolled in PROFYLE, and the project eventually plans to enroll over 450 patients over the next four years. 

The Challenge 

There has been dramatic improvement in treatments and outcomes for many pediatric cancers over the last three decades. However, for the 20 per cent of young people whose cancers have spread, returned, or are resistant to treatment, outcomes remain grim. In fact, around 4,200 young Canadians between the ages of 0 to 29 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2017, and more than 700 of them will die from it. PROFYLE is a project for children and young adults who have been told they are out of treatment options, giving them another chance. 

Our Strategy

Research centres and top scientists and clinicians across Canada are – for the first time – working together to molecularly profile the tumours of young cancer patients. PROFYLE seeks to take advantage of the genomic revolution to look at the molecular composition of these cancers. Molecular profiling is a set of emerging biological tests that looks at an individual's cancer tumour, studying its genetic characteristics and any unique biomarkers. The information gathered will be used to identify and create therapies that are designed to target a specific cancer tumour profile so patients can enjoy a better quality of life and live longer. 

How It Works 

In the past, if a child battling cancer lived in a region without a molecular profiling site, accessing this was not an option. PROFYLE is breaking down barriers, giving young people who need it the most access to the best cancer care in Canada. For example, a child enrolled in the study will have his or her tumour sample sent to one of three profiling sites in Canada. The results are then discussed at a national tumour board – and if the patient meets criteria for a clinical trial suitable for their cancer they will be enrolled. 

Patient Enrolment 

Only oncologists can enroll patients in Terry Fox PROFYLE -- please check with your doctor for more information and to determine if your child, adolescent, or young adult (ages 0 to 29) meets the project's eligibility criteria. 

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