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.
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.
Our 10 medical programs are spread across eight hospital sites – Princess Margaret, Toronto General, Toronto Rehab’s five sites, Toronto Western – as well as our education programs through the Michener Institute of Education at UHN. Learn more about the services, programs and amenities offered at each location.
Maps & Directions
Find out how to get to and around our nine locations — floor plans, parking, public transit, accessibility services, and shuttle information.
Ways You Can Help
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.
It is always useful to have a backup plan, especially when it comes to deciding how to treat cancer.
Having more information about a cancer's genetic makeup enables clinicians and patients to make faster and more effective treatment decisions using a precision medicine approach. Yet, gathering complete genetic data in a timely manner remains a challenge.
Current clinical practice guidelines recommend that individuals recently diagnosed with lung cancer – the leading cause of cancer-related death – have their cancer tested for at least eight cancer-related genetic changes. However, despite these recommendations, a large number of patient tumours are not tested.
"In lung cancer, there are a number of approved drugs that may benefit individuals with certain changes in their tumour DNA," explains Dr. Natasha Leighl, lead author of the study and medical oncologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
"Testing for these changes (known as biomarkers) can identify patients who are likely to benefit from treatment with targeted therapy."
Looked at a quicker, simpler approach
Incomplete genetic testing is common for a number of reasons, including the lack of sufficient tumour tissue, and the fact that testing can take a considerable amount of time. Consequently, treatments are often started before the results become available, as patients are unable to wait.
To address this issue, Dr. Leighl's team evaluated a quicker and simpler approach to profile cancers using tumour DNA that is present in the blood.
They found that the blood test was faster at returning results, identified biomarker changes at a rate comparable to profiling tumour tissue and increased the number of individuals who received complete biomarker analysis.
"Our findings suggest that biomarker testing of patients using tumour DNA found in blood is a suitable alternative in scenarios where tumour tissue and time are limited," says Dr. Leighl.
This work was sponsored by Guardant Health. Dr. Leighl is supported through the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation through the OSI Pharmaceuticals Foundation Chair in Cancer New Drug Development.