New Equipment Leads a Paradigm Shift

Saskatchewan has launched a world-first clinical trial that aims to substantially improve quality of life for ovarian cancer patients. By combining multiple test methods together, patients will gain access to more accurate, personalized genomic information, allowing them
to make informed choices about their own care.

The trial is made possible by a donor-funded NextSeq 550 Next Generation Sequencer System (Sequencer), the first in Saskatchewan. The Sequencer is leading-edge technology for genetic DNA testing of tumors and blood.

Thanks to a gift made in honour of Donald E. Kramer, the Sequencer was purchased to support work being done by Dr. Laura Hopkins, Provincial Lead for Gynecologic Oncology at the College of Medicine and the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency.

Researchers Dr. John DeCoteau, Dr. Mary Kinloch, and Dr. Laura Hopkins with the Sequencer (at left)

Dr. Hopkins is leading a study that will use the Sequencer to test ovarian cancer patients’ tumours for genetic mutations. This personalized information predicts how individual patients will respond to drug treatments, resulting in less side effects and increased quality of life.

“We are leading a paradigm shift in ovarian cancer care with this trial,” she said.

“We’re working with gynecologic researchers in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia to identify how to use the genomic sequencing data from this project to best benefit cancer patients,” said Dr. Hopkins.

While the Sequencer was purchased to support work being done in ovarian cancer care, the most fatal gynecologic cancer, it is already being used to address prostate cancer. Dr. Hopkins says the Sequencer will also be useful in addressing pancreatic and breast cancer, as well as others.

Thank you to the Kramer family’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren for their vision to invest in the future of cancer care.

A donation in honour of Donald E. Kramer was made on behalf of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to purchase the NextSeq 550 Next Generation Sequencer System.

This story is included in Your 2022-2023 Donor Report alongside many inspiring stories of generosity.

Read Your 2022-2023 Donor Report

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