The IRIC is proud to announce the $12.8 million in funding awarded to the “Interrogating and implementing Omics for precision medicine in acute myeloid leukemia” project led by Guy Sauvageau (Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer of the Université de Montréal) and Josée Hébert (Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital and Université de Montréal) following the 2017 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition: “Genomics and Precision Health”, organized by Genome Canada. 

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths. The lack of treatments adapted to the disease and the too few diagnostic tools available for choosing an adequate treatment result in the overall long-term survival rate for AML patients being no more than 27%. 

Developing new tests that will predict how the patient will respond to certain specific treatments by using state-of-the-art technologies is the challenge issued by both of the investigators and their team made up of principal investigators Anne Marinier (IRIC), Sébastien Lemieux (IRIC), Philippe Roux (IRIC), Frédéric Barabé (CHUQ), Ma’n Zawati (McGill) and Gabriel Tremblay (Geneconomics Inc.). The project’s goal is to reduce the number of AML patients for whom physicians have difficulty in identifying optimal treatment from 30% to 10% or less. “We want to reduce that proportion to less than 10% by taking advantage of new genomic technologies that would decipher genetic abnormalities that are currently unknown and, ultimately, develop new more specific diagnostic and prognostic tests, in order to better direct the treatment of those patients” explains Dr. Sauvageau. 

This funding is part of an overall investment approach by Genome Canada of approximately $162 million over four years, in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, as well as project co-funding partners, for 15 new genomics and precision health projects. The approach provides hope for saving more lives, reducing patient suffering and lowering costs for the health care system.