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McGill Team Lands $5M for Pediatric Glioblastoma Dx Study

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – McGill University researchers have received more than C$5 million ($4.9 million) in funding to launch a project that will seek to develop genetic biomarkers for use in treating and improving the quality of life in children with brain cancer, McGill said yesterday.

The researchers plan to develop and deploy a diagnostic test in clinical trials that identifies genetic mutations in glioblastoma patients that could be used to plan treatment strategies and improve quality of life.

The project at McGill and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, or RI MUHC, was awarded the investment from Genome Canada; the Canadian Institute of Health Research; the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology; Génome Québec; the Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation, and from the university.

Between 200 and 300 young adults in Canada are diagnosed with glioblastoma annually, and under the current therapeutic approaches, 90 percent of those patients die within three years.

"For these young patients and their families, this represents the hope of improved quality of life," Mark LePage, president and CEO of Genome Quebec, said in a statement.

The project is being led by Nada Jabado, a medical genetics and genomics researcher at RI MUHC and an associate pediatrics professor at McGill, and co-led by McGill's Jacek Majewski, an associate professor in human genetics, and Tomi Pastinen, an associate professor in human genomics at McGill.