Advisory: Give yourself extra time when travelling by car to Toronto General Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, or Toronto Rehab University Centre. City of Toronto construction on University Ave. may cause delays.
At UHN, we strive to deliver Compassionate Care & Caring. Learn more about the services and supports that are available to you throughout your journey.
Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians,
staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make
the most of our resources.
At the heart of everything we do at UHN are our Healthcare Professionals. Refer a patient to one of our 12 medical programs. Learn more about the resources and opportunities available for professional growth.
University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international
source for discovery, education and patient care.
Being touched by illness affects us in different ways. Many people want to give back to the community
and help others. At UHN, we welcome your contribution and offer different ways you can help so you can find one that suits you.
The Newsroom is the source for media looking for information about UHN or trying to connect with one
of our experts for an interview. It's also the place to find UHN media policies and catch up on our news stories, videos, media releases,
podcasts and more.
Despite advanced pancreatic cancer being the most commonly diagnosed form of the disease, little is known about its genetic and molecular features.
"Most molecular studies on pancreatic cancer have examined early stage disease, which is found in a minority of the patient population," says Dr. Faiyaz Notta, a scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PM). "This is mostly due to difficulty in obtaining sufficient tumour tissue for research from patients with advanced disease."
To address this, a unique clinical trial known as COMPASS was launched by Dr. Jennifer Knox, a medical oncologist at PM. The trial enrolled patients with advanced pancreatic cancer and aimed to comprehensively characterize the genetic content of their tumours.
Dr. Notta and Dr. Steve Gallinger, a surgical oncologist at PM, examined pancreatic tumours collected from 314 patients, including 111 with advanced disease from the COMPASS trial.
The researchers found that the pancreatic cancers could be grouped into five different subtypes based on their genetic information. One subtype, referred to as Basal-like-A, was mainly found in advanced disease. Prior to this, only two subtypes of pancreatic cancer had been described.
The study's findings also indicate that the disease subtypes likely emerged from specific genetic alterations during disease development.
These findings help to explain why patients with pancreatic cancer display a wide range of responses to the same anti-cancer drug. In addition, they will guide the design of new strategies that are targeted to each subtype of advanced disease.
This work was supported by the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, the Terry Fox Research Institute, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Pancreatic Cancer Canada Foundation.