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Brain Cancer Canada Funds Development of New Dx Sequencing Assay at St. Michael's Hospital

NEW YORK – Brain Cancer Canada said Monday that it has made a grant of C$100,000 (US$77,643) to the St. Michael's Hospital program to develop a genomic sequencing test for pediatric and adult brain cancers.

The hospital, which cares for more primary malignant brain tumor patients than any other Canadian hospital, intends to create a custom gene panel, compatible with Illumina NGS platforms, covering a broad range of genes. Although the group did not specify their targets for the panel, a representative said that the goal is to have a test applicable to both tissue and blood samples.

According to St. Michael’s neurosurgeon Sunit Das, implementing genomic testing will allow clinicians to diagnose and treat brain tumors much more quickly and with greater precision. "That’s precious time saved, and the impact will be massive," he said in a statement.

Marc Peeters, Brain Cancer Canada's director of partnerships and stakeholders, added that the organization has been able to grant C$400,000 in less than a year to fund research that uses "advanced genome science to develop new technology and medicine."

"It is unfortunate that our work is needed to enable funding for cutting-edge technology in Canada in the fight against brain cancer. … It is an incredibly difficult task, but our conviction is that this community will break barriers we deemed impossible in the past and ultimately will make this disease manageable," he added.