The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and MaRS Discovery District hosted an event for World Cancer Day under the banner of “Breaking the Mold: Rethinking the Cancer System.” Hosted by André Picard, Health Columnist of The Globe and Mail, the panel consisted of leading Cancer healthcare professionals, experts and innovators including Rna Diagnostics’ President and CEO, Dr. Ken Pritzker.

The panel delivered insightful, expert perspectives and generated strong discussion about the need for changes to the cancer system in Canada.

Dr. Pritzker presented on the topic of Advancing cancer diagnostics” showcasing the clear need for RDA™ in current treatment practices and the benefits for patients and healthcare systems.

“Each member of the panel, some not having been exposed to RDA until today, referenced the need for this type of cancer diagnostic,” said Dr. Pritzker.

Zayna Khayat, PhD, of MaRS Health shared the need to push boundaries in the healthcare system with a focus on innovation. She referenced the MaRS EXCITE program emphasizing “EXCITE is designed for those technologies that are breaking the mold” while highlighting Rna Diagnostics as a participant in an EXCITE trial.

The MaRS Excellence in Clinical Innovation Technology Evaluation (EXCITE) program connects health technology innovators with experienced, award-winning researchers to get the right evidence and data they need to show the value of their product and facilitates discussions with relevant health system stakeholders to determine what it takes to get their technology adopted successfully.

World Cancer Day is a global event that takes place every year on February 4, uniting the world’s population in the fight against cancer. The goal is to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action.

The event, created to share ideas and promote discussion, included a technology expo and featured a compelling mix of speakers. The full list of speakers and topics can be found below.

André Picard
Health Columnist of The Globe and Mail
Emcee

Amit Oza, MD, MBBS, FRCPC
Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto and Director, Cancer Clinical Research Unit and Bras Drug Development Program and Interim Head, Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
“Personalized Medicine: The promise of precision”

Kenneth Pritzker, MD, FRCPC
Professor Emeritus, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto and Founder, Rna Diagnostics Inc.
“Advancing cancer diagnostics: Key to advancing cancer therapeutics, reducing adverse side effects and saving costs”

John-Peter Bradford
Executive Director, Life Saving Therapies Network
“Precision Medicine and Lethal Cancers: A Patient’s View”

 Zayna Khayat, PhD
MaRS Health, MaRS EXCITE
“Creating a pull model for breakthrough technology adoption in Ontario: The MaRS EXCITE Program”

David Stewart, MD FRCPC
Professor of Medicine, Chief and Head of the Division of Medical Oncology, The Ottawa Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa
“Regulation of clinical research in cancer and other lethal diseases must change: why and how”

About Rna Diagnostics Inc.
Rna Diagnostics is a cancer diagnostics company providing a platform of prognostic biomarker tools to help improve the lives of cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. Founded in 2010, Rna Diagnostics’ first product is the RNA Disruption Assay™. The RNA Disruption Assay™ (RDA™) provides physicians with an evaluation of how individual patients are responding to chemotherapy as early as 14 days after 1st cycle of treatment. If chemotherapy is working, the physician and patient can continue treatment with confidence. If chemotherapy is not working, physicians may consider alternate therapies. For patients, this means avoiding harmful side effects and the possibility for improved survival outcomes.www.rnadiagnostics.com.