ACRI acquires Next Generation Sequencing Technologies to enhance cancer research and patient care

(Moncton, NB) – February 4, 2013 – The Atlantic Cancer Research Institute in Moncton New-Brunswick announces the acquisition of the new Ion Proton Sequencer from Life Technology. ACRI was among the first research centers in the world to purchase this breakthrough technology that was launched in late 2012. The Ion Proton uses a Solid State Chip to convert the genetic information contained in DNA or RNA to an electrical signal which is captured and processed computationally. This massively parallel process accelerates previous technology and makes it possible to decode a human genome in a single day.

"This new technology is accelerating the pace of discovery to levels we could not imagine only a few years ago. 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, the potential impact on patient care is exciting. 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 cancers 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."

The announcement of this new and exciting piece of equipment at ACRI coincides well with February fourth, World Cancer Day. The survival rate from cancer currently stands at 62%, a significant improvement over 33% in the 1960s. This shows the importance of research breakthroughs in detection and treatment. In Atlantic Canada, the incidence of cancer is significantly above the national average, which drives home the importance of continued research for which this new piece of equipment will be instrumental.

"Progress in the battle against cancer starts by understanding what we are up against," says Dr. Rodney Ouellette, "Our knowledge of cancer biology is the basis that allows innovation to reach the cancer patient in the form of better early detection and improved treatments. We still have much to uncover in solving cancer and to ensure that we are contributing to this important research we must be at the forefront of research. The Ion Proton is cutting edge technology that allows ACRI to accelerate discovery and to apply our knowledge to develop innovative solutions for patients"

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 collaborations with researchers in Canada and elsewhere. Research that is based here in Atlantic Canada ensures benefits both socially as it brings innovation and solutions to our patients and economically as positions the region to capture investment from potential spin-offs. The technology 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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Atlantic Cancer Research Institute 
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The Atlantic Cancer Research Institute

 (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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