Liquid biopsy for the discovery of new methods of cancer diagnosis and new treatment strategies

Despite the improvements in cancer diagnostic and treatment, cancer is still a leading cause of death in Canada with 30% of all deaths. Some cancers, like pancreatic cancer (PC), still have poor survival rates due to the lack of early diagnosis and good prognostics markers. The Atlantic Cancer Research Institute (ACRI) has developed a proprietary technology to capture extracellular vesicles (EVs) from various biofluids with the goal to deliver precision medicine solutions through liquid biopsy technologies. Cancer cells are known to secrete EVs that carry almost every cell molecular components. This project aims to compare many components of EVs captured in plasma from cancer patients and healthy controls. The main goals of this project are to establish particular disease biosignatures and to evaluate their potential to detect and identify cancers earlier, and to evaluate the efficiency of the treatments by monitoring cancer progression. This could result in significant economic benefits for our health care systems by making sure the treatment is right for the patient and by halting expensive treatments for non-responders sooner. This represents a business opportunity if health care systems or diagnostic companies form a partnership with ACRI for the diagnosis and monitoring of cancer patients.

Intern: 
Philippe-Pierre Robichaud
Faculty Supervisor: 
Marc Surette
Province: 
New Brunswick
Program: