Princess Margaret Cancer Consortium
The Princess Margaret Cancer Consortium (PM2C) coalesces the expertise and efforts of clinicians, pathologists, data and translational scientists, bioinformaticians as well as software developers to contribute retrospectively and prospectively assembled patient cohorts and guide data interpretation in the relevant clinical and molecular context.
The PM2C was founded on a partnership between the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre – University Health Network (PM-UHN), and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) to collaborate and deliver on specific requirements for genomic and transcriptomic data generation and federation for the MOHCCN. Through this partnership, PM-UHN and OICR will establish models for governance and decision-making. PM-UHN leads the PM2C for MOHCCN by leveraging and building upon many of its existent infrastructure and specific capabilities including clinical research supports, pathology and biobank resources, translational research capabilities, data science and sharing, patient and community outreach activities. The vision of this consortium is to act as one of potentially several hubs in Ontario to serve as primary entry points of clinical and molecular data into the MOHCCN.
PM2C is led by Dr. Lillian Siu and supported by its Steering Committee, which consists of Dr. Lillian Siu, Dr. Aaron Schimmer, Dr. Trevor Pugh, and Dr. Bradly Wouters. In 2022, the PM2C officially on-boarded an additional node at Queen’s University,
including its clinical partners, Kingston Health Sciences Centre, and Kingston General Health Research Institute. The Kingston-based MOHCCN effort will be led by Drs. Harriet Feilotter and Amber Simpson. PM2C is actively planning to add member sites
across Ontario to increase its footprint of precision cancer medicine initiatives.
For the first three years of its inception, the PM2C will contribute patient data derived from 23 projects including solid, blood and rare cancers, across both PM-UHN and Kingston.
Goals and Objectives
- Establish the personnel and infrastructure to develop local Digital Health and Discovery Platform appliances at PM-UHN and its member sites to enable data sharing across member sites
- Bolster core capabilities in bioinformatics, text mining, pathological assessment, molecular profiling (Whole Genome and Transcriptome Analysis (WGTA), immunoprofiling, etc.)
- Recruit and link in additional Ontario centres as PM2C member sites
- Plan and launch outreach activities and patient engagement programs to include underserved and hard-to-reach populations
- Create opportunities to partner with industry such as establishing a network-wide prospective clinical trial to enroll patients with specific biomarkers or signatures
- Increase training opportunities for trainees such as studentships and fellowships; and engage early career investigators to participate in MOHCCN activities via career awards for early career researchers
Each year a substantial number of projects are nominated to become part of MOHCCN. Prior to their selection, cohorts are reviewed by the PM2C Steering Committee using the following eligibility criteria:
- Address at least one of the key questions set forth by the MOHCCN Scientific Questions Working Group
- Alignment with MOHCCN White Papers (Year 2+ cohorts)
- Willingness and ability (e.g. consent language allowance) to share data and biospecimens
- Availability of banked biospecimens for additional analysis
- Representation of patients with different cancer types or molecular groups
- Engagement of multi-disciplinary clinical and research groups within and/or outside PM-UHN
- Status of gold standard readiness (e.g. readiness of WGTA data, clinical data, etc.)
- Availability of matched funding support
- Have undergone internal and/or external scientific review