15-G A Pan Canadian initiative for the development of a liquid biopsy assay for lung cancer screening


In Canada, the five-year survival rate of lung cancer patients is just 19%, due largely to the fact that most newly diagnosed patients present with advanced or metastatic disease. In Quebec, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. In 2017, an estimated 3,600 men and 3,100 women died of lung cancer*. Early diagnosis is key to the successful treatment of lung cancer. Unfortunately, early detection methods of lung cancer are not ideal. Early detection methods include chest X-rays followed by bronchoscopy, sputum analysis followed by cytological analysis and Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT). Recently, in a Pan Canadian collaboration with The Metabolomics Innovation Centre (TMIC), Quebec Heart and Lung Institute, Saint Boniface Research centre and BioMark Diagnostics, the group discovered and validated a set of several plasma metabolite biomarkers for early lung cancer diagnosis that exhibit excellent sensitivity and specificity measures. Our overarching goal is to develop a low-cost, high-throughput test that will make early-stage lung cancer screening feasible and affordable for at-risk population. We are aiming at a paradigm shift in lung cancer screening that makes a bloodbased testing routine and accessible to those patients at highest risk for lung cancer. In addition to social benefits, the success of this initiative has potential to positively impact job for our highlyqualified personnel across the industry with the establishment of a team to develop a clinical centre of excellence in Quebec.