The goal of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research’s (OICR) Adaptive Oncology Initiative is to develop “adaptive” approaches to cancer management that anticipate how tumours change over the course of time and in response to therapy.
The Initiative, one of OICR’s three key priority research areas, brings together OICR researchers with expertise in genomics, bioinformatics, machine learning, imaging, robotics and histopathology.
What do we mean by 'Adaptive Oncology'?
Adaptive Oncology (AO), is a term describing a paradigm in which an understanding of the evolutionary history of a patient’s tumour is used to inform clinical management strategies.
Over the past decade, large cancer genome sequencing efforts have catalogued unexpected diversity amongst cancer genomes. Several hundred novel cancer driver genes have been identified, and a broad spectrum of genomic alterations ranging from single base substitutions to whole genome duplications is now implicated in tumour initiation, progression and therapeutic response. Over the same period, research has discovered extensive spatial and temporal heterogeneity in cancer.
We now know that most or all tumours consist of a polyclonal community of genetically distinct cells which evolve over time to adapt to therapy, the immune system, and the microenvironment.
Our Mission and Objectives
OICR’s AO Initiative seeks to develop knowledge and approaches to monitor cancer over its life cycle in order to enable precise and proactive clinical management.
Our research will create the groundwork for new clinical and diagnostic paradigms that use the knowledge of spatial and temporal heterogeneity to select the right therapy at the right time.
In turn, these paradigms will create opportunities for commercialization via knowledge bases of predictive biomarkers, diagnostic testing services, decision software systems, and novel imaging instrumentation.
- Build new and deeper understanding of cancer evolution in space and time
- Develop adaptive approaches to cancer management that anticipate and counter tumour evolution
- Train the next generation of cancer researchers and engineers to work on adaptive cancer problems
- Foster efficiency, communication and collaboration within and among Adaptive Oncology, Ontario and the wider cancer research community
- Establish partnerships to identify and advance adaptive oncology innovations for the benefit of patients and the Ontario economy
Collaborate with Us
Our Services and Expertise are widely available to researchers in Canada and internationally.
OICR's AO Initiative is always on the lookout for dedicated and talented people to join our culture of innovation and excellence.
What's Happening in AO?
Keep up-to-date with news and event happenings in the AO community.
Learn more about the latest research through our open software, tools, and media files.
Courtyard by Marriott Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Canada Science and Technology Museum, Ottawa, Ontario
Our research projects focus on translating our research discoveries and findings to the clinic, and involve collaborations across research institutes, disciplines and geography.
Our Programs have a mandate to support cancer research across OICR and the broad Ontario cancer research community.
Our Resources enable cancer research by developing and providing the fundamental building blocks for cancer research in Ontario and globally.
OICR's AO Initiative comprises a team of globally recognized lead scientists, clinicians, and engineers, who bring together their expertise for cancer research.
OICR's AO Initiative teams are comprised of talented and driven scientists, clinicians, engineers and trainees with one goal in mind: To better the lives of cancer patients through collaborative research.
Scientific Advisory Board
Discover the scientific leaders who provide high-level scientific guidance for our AO Initiative.