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Dr. Louis-Marie Simard, Medical Director of the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre
The Honorable Marie-Claude Blais, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Minister responsible for Women's Equality
Mrs. Sandra Brady, patient
Dr. Rodney Ouellette, President and Scientific Director at the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute (ACRI)
Dr. Nicolas Crapoulet, research scientist at the ACRI
Dr. Dhany Charest, Chief of Medical Staff, Area 1H-Moncton of the Horizon Health Network
Monsieur Richard Losier, Chief Operating Officer –Zone 1 Beauséjour of the Vitalité Health Network

(Moncton, N.B.) – March 24, 2014 – Vitalité Health Network, in conjunction with the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute (ACRI), is pleased to announce that it is now offering  next-generation DNA sequencing technology for diagnostic purposes. After becoming one of the first research centres in Canada to acquire the Ion Proton Sequencer manufactured by Life Technologies, in 2012, ACRI is now making this device available for use by the molecular genetics laboratory at Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre.


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Luc Richard, technician in the Molecular Diagnostic and Sequencing Laboratory


Atlantic Cancer Research Institute Offers Proven New Sequencing Technology for Advanced Diagnostic Testing in New Brunswick

(Moncton, N.B.) – March 24, 2014 – Vitalité Health Network, in conjunction with the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute (ACRI), is pleased to announce that it is now offering  next-generation DNA sequencing technology for diagnostic purposes. After becoming one of the first research centres in Canada to acquire the Ion Proton Sequencer manufactured by Life Technologies, in 2012, ACRI is now making this device available for use by the molecular genetics laboratory at Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre.

The molecular genetics laboratory has to date developed a series of diagnostic and prognostic tests for cancer and other diseases and is continuing to develop new tests to support non-invasive screening methods for certain fetal diseases. The new service, called the Molecular Diagnostic and Sequencing Laboratory, is able to analyze patient samples from throughout New Brunswick and elsewhere and began testing in early March 2014.

“The Ion Proton Sequencer uses semiconductor chip technology to convert genetic information from DNA and RNA into electronic signals that are then captured for data processing,” explained Dr. Nicolas Crapoulet, research scientist at the ACRI. “This hyperparallel system accelerates the performance of existing technologies to enable the decoding of an entire human genome in less than a day. This new technology boosts analysis rates exponentially to speeds we could never have imagined even just a few years ago.”

“We are very pleased to be able to offer this genetic analysis service based on the latest DNA sequencing technology to patients throughout New Brunswick,” stated Richard Losier, Chief Operating Officer – Zone 1 Beauséjour of Vitalité Health Network’s Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre. “This joint initiative with the ACRI accelerates the implementation of innovative technologies at no additional cost to the health-care system, positioning us to provide even better care to our patients by offering the right treatment based on advanced molecular diagnostics. This service will allow repatriation of samples that are currently being sent out of the province for analysis. In addition, it will be delivered at no additional cost to the health system.”       

According to Dr. Rodney Ouellette, president and scientific director of the ACRI and medical director of the Molecular Diagnostic and Sequencing Laboratory for Vitalité, the positive impact on patient care of this new technology cannot be overestimated.

“With this technology, we can now analyze a patient’s cancer at the molecular level in real time,” he said. “Its advantages are twofold: first, it provides detailed information to fine-tune the accuracy of diagnosis; and second, helps clinicians choose the most effective treatment for specific cancers. This new technology will also help patients to avoid the side effects of treatments that are ineffective against certain cancers. We are entering the era of personalized medicine, in which doctors are able to administer the right treatmentfor the right patient at the right time.”

This new service will be equipped with four next-generation sequencers, two of which will be dedicated to patient sample analysis, while the other two will be used for more advanced analysis such as complete human genome sequencing.

“ Our successes in research have enabled us to acquire this leading-edge technology, and we were eager to start working with our our medical coleagues to bring the benefits of this technology directly to the bedside so that we can help increase people’s chances of overcoming disease,” Dr. Ouellette added. “We still have a long way to go in the fight against cancer, and if we want to contribute to key research in this area, we need to remain on the leading edge. The Ion Proton Sequencer is a state-of-the-art technology that is helping us to make new discoveries and apply this knowledge to developing innovative solutions for patients.”

Since its founding in 1998, the ACRI has helped to expand cancer research efforts in Atlantic Canada. The Institute currently has a staff of 50 and collaborates with research teams across Canada and around the world.

The research conducted here in the Atlantic region has generated positive impact both socially, for the patients benefiting from local innovations and discoveries, and economically, since the region also benefits from the associated research-based investment. ACRI was able to acquire this new technology through a research grant from the Government of Canada as well as through the Atlantic Innovation Fund and support from the Province of New Brunswick.

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 (ACRI) is a non-profit organization founded in late 1998 and housed at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton. Thanks to its unique expertise, ACRI has become a true centre of excellence in cancer research.

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