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Personalized Oncogenomics (POG) Program of British Columbia

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified October 2015 by British Columbia Cancer Agency
BC Cancer Foundation
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
British Columbia Cancer Agency Identifier:
First received: June 2, 2014
Last updated: October 29, 2015
Last verified: October 2015
The genomic heterogeneity of cancers implies that to effectively use targeted therapies the investigators will need to assess each individual cancer and match it to a biologically relevant targeted therapy. The investigators will use full genome sequencing to try to identify cancer "drivers" and corresponding drugs that may inhibit these pathways.

Condition Intervention
Metastatic Cancers
Advanced Cancers
Cancers That Cannot be Treated With Curative Intent
Genetic: Genome sequencing

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Official Title: Personalized Oncogenomics (POG) Program of British Columbia: Utilization of Genomic Analysis to Better Understand Tumour Heterogeneity and Evolution

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by British Columbia Cancer Agency:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Influence of genomic data on clinical decision-making [ Time Frame: 5 years ]
    This outcome will allow us to study how often in-depth genomic data impacts on clinical decision-making in a general oncology population. It will help describe how useful or important this sort of data is in daily practice.

  • Cataloging of cancer genomes [ Time Frame: 5 years ]
    Accumulation of genomic information linked to treatment/outcome data will greatly enhance our knowledge and understanding of cancers and response to treatment.

Estimated Enrollment: 5000
Study Start Date: July 2014
Estimated Study Completion Date: June 2025
Estimated Primary Completion Date: June 2020 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Genome Sequencing
There is only one arm to this study.
Genetic: Genome sequencing
Subjects will have their cancers biopsied and blood samples taken; both will undergo genomic sequencing and analysis

Detailed Description:

Carcinogenesis is an immensely complex process such that even within a histologic cancer subtype - for example adenocarcinoma of the lung or breast - there is significant variability in cancer behaviour and response to therapy. Analyses of individual patients demonstrate unique molecular signatures for every cancer examined. Frequently, multiple different pathways are involved in disease growth and progression and the dominant process varies from person to person and perhaps even within different sites of disease within one person. As well these variations evolve in response to treatment.

Recognizing genetic aberrations that promote disease facilitates targeted treatment; this has been demonstrated in several small subgroups of cancers in which specific genetic mutations or translocations have been successfully treated with targeted chemotherapy agents. With many recognized mutations and aberrations, personalized evaluation of the genetic signature encoded in DNA and RNA may provide important diagnostic information and potentially enable directed therapy to the appropriate oncologic pathway thereby providing information to help guide chemotherapy choices

Our initial pilot project demonstrated the feasibility of this approach at our institution (with 100 patients). We now know it is possible to identify and consent patients, sequence the genome and transcriptome, analyze and report abnormalities, and identify potential actionable targets in a clinically relevant time frame.

The overarching theme of this POG Program is to create a comprehensive cataloguing of somatic cancer mutations and cellular pathway abnormalities that could generate profound insights into genetic patterns that underlie particular cancer phenotypes, and provide valuable prognostic and predictive information.

Eligible subjects will have several samples analyzed: a fresh tumour biopsy (typically 5 cores are required), a blood sample for normal comparison and archival tumours when available. Comprehensive DNA and RNA sequencing is performed followed by an in-depth bioinformatic analysis to identify somatic mutations, gene expression changes or other abnormalities that might be cancer "drivers" or provide actionable (diagnostic) or druggable targets. The POG team meets every week to discuss the detailed genomic reports for patients, consider additional validation tests when necessary, and debate research questions. The clinicians (typically 5 - 10) come to a consensus on what systemic therapies might be appropriate based on these results. Whenever possible subjects are matched to clinical trials.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 85 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 1. Patients must have histologically or cytologically confirmed diagnosis of cancer; if this is not available but metastatic cancer is virtually certain because of the clinical and radiographic presentation then a POG program biopsy could be done concurrently with a diagnostic biopsy to minimize invasive testing for patients. If the biopsy turned out not to be cancer then the POG analysis may be cancelled.

    2. This cancer must be incurable, as defined by their treating oncologist (generally due to advanced stage).

    3. Patients must agree to provide archival tissue and agree to undergo at least one study specific biopsy at baseline and a blood test for genomic analysis. All subjects will also have a biopsy and blood samples at progression if it could be done safely.

    4. ECOG PS 0 or 1.

    5. Patients may have previously received one line of palliative systemic therapy and/or palliative radiation therapy as needed. In addition, hormone therapy or one line of biologically targeted therapy (such as EGFR inhibitors, BRAF inhibitors, VEGF inhibitors) is permitted and would not count as a line of therapy. Such that a patient could have one line of systemic therapy and one line of hormone or targeted therapy and still be potentially eligible. If the targeted therapy is given concurrently with the systemic chemotherapy that would count as one line of treatment.

    6. Age > 18 years of age.

    7. Patient consent must be obtained according to the BCCA requirements.

    8. Patients must be accessible for follow-up and must be registered at the BCCA. The intention of this program is to serve the population of B.C. such that it is only open to patients currently living and receiving treatment in BC. The ability to track subsequent treatments and outcomes is essential.

    9. Estimated life expectancy of > 6 months.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • 1. Unable or unwilling to undergo tumour biopsy(s) and/or blood/skin samples for normal DNA.

    2. Significant medical condition that in the opinion of the treating or consenting oncologist renders the subject not suitable for participation.

    3. Unwilling or unable to provide treatment and outcome follow up information to the BCCA investigators.

    4. Patients not currently living in and receiving treatment in BC.

  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT02155621

Canada, British Columbia
BC Cancer Agency Recruiting
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V5Z 4E6
Contact: Janessa J Laskin, MD   
Principal Investigator: Janessa J Laskin, MD, FRCPC         
Principal Investigator: Marco Marra, PhD         
Sponsors and Collaborators
British Columbia Cancer Agency
BC Cancer Foundation