The Prostate Cancer program at The Princess Margaret continues to make unique and significant advances in clinical care and research programming. Today, The Princess Margaret offers a unique and comprehensive program across the trajectory of the disease that personalizes cancer care from prevention to survivorship. In addition to the world-class standard care procedures, The Princess Margaret also offers prostate cancer patients unique areas of innovative research-based treatments.
The Prostate Centre Prevention Clinic is at the forefront of research and practice. Our blood sample collection has evolved into the Genito-Urinary (GU) BioBank. Sources of biomarkers for disease, such as blood and urine, may help us to better identify those who are at risk for prostate cancer, the aggressiveness of the disease, and the best course of treatment.
The BioBank is a success that our researches have had in genomics and proteomics. The original database has evolved into the The Princess Margaret Prostate Centre database, the only comprehensive outcomes-based database for prostate cancer in Canada.
Dr. John Trachtenverd has introduced Focal Laser Ablation (FLA) therapy at the Prostate Centre as a treatment option for men with low-risk PC, which may offer a better risk-benefit balance and improved disease management. The results of 20 patient FLA trials were remarkable. Patients do not generally experience pain during or after the procedure, and usually do not require any pain medication. Men can return to a normal lifestyle within a few days postoperatively, and neither urinary nor sexual function had been detrimentally affected in these 20 patients.
We've recently built a database of 400 men who are, or were, on Active Surveillance (AS) for low-risk prostate cancer at The Princess Margaret. We were the first to publish on the benefit of 5 alpha reductase inhibitors (5ARIs) in this population of patients. Men followed on AS and taking 5ARI were less likely to experience disease progression or abandon AS for active treatment.
Approximately 2-3% of PC patients carry an inherited genetic mutation called BRCA1 or BRCA2 that increases the risk of developing PC. The Prostate Centre is working with initiatives from Prostate Cancer Canada, and a network of researchers and databases across Canada to study men who carry these mutations. Researchers at The Princess Margaret are working to create a tissue microarray resource for BRCA1/2 carriers.
Dr. Robert Bristow is leading the Canadian Prostate Cancer Genome Network (CPC-GENE). This 5-year, $20 million research initiative (funded by Prostate Cancer Canada and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research), represents a unique, pan-Canadian effort to crack the prostate cancer genetic code by determining the DNA mutations in prostate cancer, in order to help personalize prostate cancer medicine. The initiative brings together some of Canada's top oncologists. They will sequence DNA from 500 unique prostate cancers to identify mutations that predict failure following surgery, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy.