Every year in our region 9,000 people are diagnosed with cancer. Last year alone, The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre treated 24,000 cancer patients. Many of those undergo molecular or genetic testing to develop customized treatments. However, doctors in Ottawa are limited in the types of genetic tests they are able to order, and most tissue samples have to be sent to Toronto. Patients in Ottawa often wait weeks for the results of out-of-town testing, resulting in the delay of their personalized cancer treatment plans.
Establishing a new Molecular Oncology Diagnostics Laboratory at The Ottawa Hospital will mean all cancer patients in our region will have access to leading-edge cancer care. A laboratory in Ottawa will help make genetic profiling of tumours a standard part of medical care, allowing physicians to determine which medications will work best for a particular patient. Targeted and customized therapies can be more effective at shrinking cancer tumours and reducing side-effects and recurrence. The new Molecular Oncology Diagnostics Laboratory will improve patient care.
- More timely testing will mean lab results in just days instead of the present wait times of weeks, which means cancer patients will begin their targeted treatments sooner.
- Customized and targeted treatments will increasingly replace the tradition of giving every patient the same drugs. This will often be more effective and may reduce side-effects.
- Expand genetic testing to other diseases to include diabetes, cardiac and vascular diseases, high blood pressure, neurological diseases and many others, is one of the future benefits of The Ottawa Hospital’s molecular diagnostics laboratory. In the coming years, a patient’s individual genetic makeup will help determine the most appropriate therapy to deal with their illness.
How you can help
We’re raising $3 million to establish this new Molecular Oncology Diagnostics Laboratory. Funds raised will be used to build the lab and purchase specialized equipment.
For more information, contact Heather McLean, Vice-President, Development and Corporate Philanthropy, at 613-798-5555, ext. 13034, or [email protected].