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Posted on February 20, 2013 | Atlantic Business Magazine | 0 Comments

Personalized cancer treatment
ACRI acquires new equipment; advances research and patient care

The ground breaking Atlantic Cancer Research Institute in Moncton, New Brunswick has notched another first by acquiring an Ion Proton Sequencer. ACRI was among the first research centers in the world to purchase this breakthrough technology that was launched in late 2012. The Ion Proton converts genetic information contained in DNA or RNA to an electrical signal which is captured and processed computationally. This accelerates previous technology and makes it possible to decode a human genome in a single day.

“From a research perspective, we are now able to look at individual cancer genomes from patients, understand how these cells become cancerous and translate these discoveries to develop new diagnostics and therapies,” says Dr. Rodney Ouellette, president and scientific director at the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute.

“More importantly, this technology allows us to analyze a patient’s cancer directly and in real time. The benefit is twofold; firstly it provides detailed information to establish accurate diagnostic parameters and secondly it guides decision-making on treatments that target the cancer’s vulnerabilities. This will spare the patient from unnecessary side effects of treatments that would not be a good match for this particular cancer. We are entering the era of personalized medicine where doctors are able to provide the right treatment to the right patient at the right time.”

Since its creation in 1998, ACRI has been successful in increasing cancer research in Atlantic Canada. The organization currently employs a staff of 45 and collaborates with researchers in Canada and elsewhere. The Ion Proton Sequencer was acquired as part of a major research funding grant received through the Atlantic Innovation Fund and supported by the Province of New Brunswick.

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