Ontario-wide Cancer Targeted Nucleic acid Evaluation (OCTANE)
What we do
Why we do it
How we do it
Ontario-wide Cancer Targeted Nucleic acid Evaluation (OCTANE) Summary
Ontario-wide Cancer Targeted Nucleic acid Evaluation (OCTANE)

Helen Chow
Acting Program Manager, Cancer Genomics Program (CGP),
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Molecular profiling is the testing of cancer cells for genetic mutations. By understanding specific mutations in a given patient’s cancer, our doctors will be better equipped to predict tumour behaviour and then select individualized therapies for each patient. Molecular profiling early in the course of treatment may also allow for more efficient screening of patients for clinical trials with matched targeted therapies.

The Ontario-wide Cancer TArgeted Nucleic acid Evaluation (OCTANE) study is a new Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR)-supported initiative that provides next generation sequencing (NGS)-based molecular profiling at multiple Ontario cancer centres, including the Juravinski Cancer Centre, London Health Sciences Centres, The Ottawa Hospital, Kingston General Hospital and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

OCTANE’s infrastructure will allow Ontario clinical labs to expand their capacity for clinical molecular testing that will directly benefit patients in Ontario. Patients with advanced solid tumours can have archival tumour tissue genetically tested on NGS technology. Results from this testing will inform the use of approved therapies (if appropriate), facilitate targeted therapy and immune therapy clinical trials in Ontario and identify patient subsets for additional research studies. All participating patients will be asked to provide additional archival tumour, blood samples and permission for data sharing with other cancer researchers to establish a province-wide repository of tumour tissue and blood samples for future research, as well as a large database of genomically-characterized and clinically-annotated sequencing results. This will accelerate the development novel genomic tests for clinical use.

Opportunities to Collaborate

OCTANE researchers are open to collaborate on research projects in Ontario and around the world.

Programs Expertise and Capabilities
  • Developing a registry of NGS panel-based testing results;
  • Creating a repository of genomically-characterized tumour tissue and blood samples for future research;
  • Increasing the engagement and opportunities for genomics-based clinical research in Ontario;
  • Establishing a large genomically-characterized and clinically-annotated patient base that can be enrolled into specific research initiatives;
  • Participating in international data-sharing to catalyze precision oncology through the aggregation and linkage of clinical-grade cancer genomic data with clinical outcomes from tens of thousands of cancer patients treated at multiple international institutions.