Cancer Genetics Program
The Cancer Genetics Program (CGP) is an interdisciplinary clinical service that provides genetic counselling and information to families, health-care workers and researchers.
The primary focus of the CGP research activities are the identification and functional characterization of genetic events associated with childhood cancer predisposition.
The CGP sees children and families who are at an increased genetic risk for cancer. This highly specialized program assesses the cancer risk for patients and families and develops recommendations for long-term monitoring for those at risk. This can lead to earlier detection and increased survival in children.
To date, more than 2,500 patients have been seen by our multidisciplinary team.
The CGP leads research studies to address current issues in the field of cancer genetics. It established a cancer genetics biorepository that is linked to an extensive clinical research database.
Significant research discoveries include:
- The development and evaluation of surveillance protocols for patients with cancer predisposition syndromes, to determine impact on cancer outcomes and patients’ quality of life
- Evaluating novel approaches to tumor surveillance, such as circulating tumor DNA
- The association of a specific DNA tumour virus with development of certain childhood cancers in genetically predisposed individuals
- The discovery of molecular ‘pathways’ that may serve as target for new therapies for paediatric brain tumours
- The identification of novel familial cancer associations that may ultimately lead to discovery of novel cancer genes
- The identification of the genetic mechanism associated with earlier onset of cancer in predisposed families
- The development of a model that explains the role of defects in genes or large genomic regions that modify the effects of inheritance of mutant p53
- The identification of enhanced DNA copy number variation as a mechanism to explain the development of a wide spectrum of cancers in individuals with apparently a single common genetic event
Kids Cancer Sequencing Program
KiCS is a research study led by CGP that aims to transform the care of cancer patients by using next-generation molecular tools to improve patient care and to identify hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes.