A world first in breast cancer research for Hamilton Health Sciences
On January 23, it was announced that Hamilton was selected by GE Healthcare to be the first site in the world to receive new prototype technologies for use in a molecular breast imaging research program. This cutting-edge strategy has the potential to find very small tumours, leading to early intervention.
From left: Dr. John Valliant, CEO and Scientific Director, Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization, Dr. Karen Gulenchyn, Chief, Nuclear Medicine, Hamilton Health Sciences & St. Joseph's Health Care Hamilton, and Dr. Mark Levine, Chair of the Department of Oncology at McMaster University, and head of cancer research at Hamilton Health Sciences.
Hamilton was selected by GE Healthcare to be the first site in the world to receive new prototype technologies for use in a molecular breast imaging research program. Drs. Karen Gulenchyn, Mark Levine and John Valliant will design and lead clinical trials to evaluate new technologies which use molecular imaging probes – radiopharmaceuticals that target breast cancer. This cutting-edge strategy has the potential to find very small tumours, leading to early intervention. Trials will be geared towards high-risk women whose tiny tumours cannot be seen by mammography.
"These new technologies provide us with a novel method for potentially detecting malignant breast lesions that are difficult to find and for measuring response of breast cancers to therapies such as chemotherapy,” said Dr. Mark Levine, Chair of the Department of Oncology at McMaster University, and head of cancer research at Hamilton Health Sciences. “This project will result in new knowledge and the hope for a brighter tomorrow."
GE chose Hamilton based on the strength of its internationally recognized breast cancer research and clinical trials through Dr. Mark Levine and the Ontario Clinical Oncology Group, as well as HHS’ nuclear medicine program, headed by Dr. Karen Gulenchyn, and the work being done by Dr. John Valliant at the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC), a new organization focused on the development and commercialization of molecular imaging probes and related technologies.
“The molecular breast imaging project is great news for Hamilton, Ontario and Canada,” said Murray Martin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hamilton Health Sciences. “Being the world's first site to receive these GE Healthcare technologies speaks to the expertise of our clinicians and researchers. It also symbolizes the power of what can be achieved through collaboration between clinical, research, industry and government partners in the interest of advancing knowledge to improve patient care.”
The Ministry of Research and Innovation is contributing $450,000 toward the project through the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
GE technologies will be located at the Henderson General Hospital. Through careful evaluation in clinical trials, researchers will determine the full potential of the molecular breast imaging strategy.
All clinical studies will be submitted to Health Canada and the hospital's research ethics board for approval.