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OICR to Launch Prostate Marker Clinical Trials with Janssen

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research said today that it will collaborate with Johnson & Johnson company Janssen to conduct clinical trials aimed at identifying new prostate cancer biomarkers.

Under the multi-center collaboration, the partners will seek to unearth biomarkers that identify patients with hormone-resistant prostate cancer who are at high risk for disease progression and biomarkers for predicting how patients will respond to therapy.

OICR's High Impact Clinical Trials Program will lead the project, which could last up to three years and will include other collaborators in Toronto, Hamilton, London, and Ottawa.

They hope to harness OICR's expertise in genomics, circulating tumor cells, and molecular imaging to identify these biomarkers. Specifically, they plan to evaluate similarities between archived diagnostic samples, serial samples of CTCs, and recent tumor biopsies, and use next-generation sequencing to correlate molecular profiles with prostate cancer patient outcomes and evaluate new imaging probes that can assess tumors and be used to determine response to treatment.

"With improved biomarkers doctors can better differentiate those patients with aggressive prostate cancer from those with non-aggressive prostate cancer and those patients that are responding to treatments from those that are not," Janet Dancey, director of OICR's High Impact Clinical Trials Program, said in a statement. "This means we could better tailor therapy to the individual patient and potentially spare many men from the serious side effects associated with prostate cancer treatment, while also finding improved ways to treat men with more aggressive disease."

Further terms of the alliance were not disclosed.