The Exactis Personalize My Treatment initiative is a unique digital cancer registry to store detailed genetic and molecular data about Canadian patients’ cancers over the duration of their cancer care that is readily accessible by academic or industry clinical researchers seeking patients with specific profiles for clinical studies.
What is PMT?
Recent research has led to much greater knowledge about the individual molecular characteristics of cancer, leading to the development of precision medicine – tailoring treatment decisions to patients based on the molecular signature of their disease.
Precision medicine in cancer uses specific information about a person’s cancer to help diagnose, plan treatment, find out how well treatment is working, or make a prognosis. However, one of the major challenges facing researchers and developers of precision cancer treatments, which can delay development of new therapies, is access to often-rare patients whose cancer matches the molecular profile targeted by the therapy under development.
Large patient populations are needed to identify small patient sub-groups whose cancer has a specific genetic profile, making it difficult for even the largest cancer centres or one single drug development company to recruit sufficient number of rare cancer sub-types, making cooperation among centres even more crucial to best serve all patients.
Furthermore, even when one treatment proves useful, access to a broad inventory of new therapies is needed for when one treatment ceases to be effective due to progression in the cancer. At present, patients who enrol in one clinical study are not automatically available, or even known to researchers, for subsequent studies, requiring all studies to essentially start from scratch in their recruitment of patients.
Testing for detailed molecular traits in cancer and access to innovative cancer studies for Canadian patients at present can be quite haphazard based on the patient’s location and type of cancer and can require multiple costly and time-consuming repeat tests to ensure the patient’s eligibility.
The Exactis PMT program aims to overcome these problems and accelerate the delivery of innovative research to patients while also strengthening the environment for cancer clinical trials in Canada.
How does PMT work?
The Personalize My Treatment initiative is a unique digital cancer registry to store detailed genetic and molecular data about Canadian patients’ cancers over the duration of their cancer care that is readily accessible by academic or industry clinical researchers seeking patients with specific profiles for clinical studies.
Patients participating in the PMT initiative, consent to:
Provide tumour tissue or other biospecimen for molecular profiling
Share their coded molecular and clinical data
Be re-contacted for clinical trials or other research
Be followed through their disease trajectory
The Exactis registry contains genetic and other molecular data about Canadian patients’ cancers, allowing prompt access by researchers to clinical trials for specific cohorts of patients and facilitating the conducting in Canada of clinical studies for innovative precision cancer therapies, allowing Canadian cancer patients to have earlier access to treatments that could benefit them.
The innovative Exactis research network (consortium) meets a growing need of biopharmaceutical drug developers to study new precision treatments in rare populations of patients with very specific molecular profiles in their cancer, by offering study sponsors faster and simpler patient enrolment for rarer cancer populations.
For Canadian cancer patients, banking the data about their cancer and giving long-term permission to be contacted for future studies of treatments that match their cancer characteristics offers the promise of gaining access through a clinical study to the newest treatment targeted for their specific cancer – a treatment that could make a vital difference in their disease course and that may not be accessible otherwise.
As the Exactis cancer registry grows, the information will also be available to drug discovery researchers to facilitate the development of even more specific precision cancer treatments.
More information about PMT can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov
PMT scientific leaders
Gerald Batist, MD, Department of Oncology, Jewish General Hospital
Bartha Maria Knoppers, Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University
Anne-Marie Mes-Masson, PhD (Lead) Centre de Recherche –CHUM, Institut du cancer de Montréal
Alan Spatz, Director, Department of Pathology, JGH
PMT Centres in Canada
Exactis is building a cross-Canada network of cancer centres participating in the PMT program. Current PMT centres are:
Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre, Moncton, New Brunswick
Moncton Hospital, Moncton, New Brunswick
Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM), Montreal
CHU de Québec-Université Laval, Quebec City
CIUSSS de la Mauricie-et-du-Centre-du-Québec, Trois-Rivières et Victoriaville
Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary, Alberta
We anticipate we will have PMT centres in British Columbia in the near future
Exactis is working closely with leading laboratories to ensure evolving and highly innovative methods and testing platforms such as transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics are readied and validated for PMT to generate deeper learnings of cancer behaviour and greater specificity for matching patients to an optimal therapy.
Federated labs for the Exactis PMT program are:
Centre for Molecular Pathology - Jewish General Hospital