The goal of precision oncology is to develop cancer treatments that target the characteristics of an individual’s tumour to ensure the best possible outcome. Dr. Kasmintan Schrader, Canada Research Chair in Clinical Cancer Genetics and Genomics, is using precision oncology to improve the use of germline variation to enhance cancer care. (Germline variations, also called germline mutations, are gene changes in an egg or sperm that are incorporated into the DNA of every cell in an embryo. Variants are passed on from parents to offspring.)
Most technological advances in precision cancer medicine have focused on treating cancer and detecting recurrent disease. Schrader and his research team are trying to better detect hereditary cancer, differentiate hereditary from non-hereditary forms of cancer, detect cancer earlier, and uncover germline variations that may not only increase susceptibility to cancer, but provide valuable information to patients, families and caregivers.