The $120,000 machine will process more DNA faster and less expensively than traditional DNA sequencers.
It will allow HSN to become one of the first facilities in Ontario to use next-generation DNA sequencing for the early detection of disease.
The Northern Cancer Foundation purchased the ION Torrent Personal Genome Machine on HSN’s behalf, and Angels In Pink has pledged to cover the cost through various fundraising efforts.
“This new machine will move us forward in terms of cancer diagnoses, patient care, and research, so it’s a perfect fundraising fit for the Northern Cancer Foundation,” said Tannys Laughren, executive director of the Northern Cancer Foundation.
“The Sudbury community never ceases to amaze me in its support of cancer care in our area.”
Angels In Pink is a group of volunteers in Sudbury which raises money for the Northern Cancer Foundation's Breast Cancer Equipment Fund, to facilitate the early diagnosis of breast cancer in Sudbury.
“Angels in Pink are honoured to purchase the Ion Torrent Analyzer with its fascinating DNA sequencing technology for HSN and Northern Ontario,” said Annette Cressy, founder of Angels In Pink.
“Early detection saves lives and we have committed to bringing as much early detection equipment and more to Sudbury as we can.”
The ION Torrent Personal Genome Machine will be used extensively by Dr. Rebecca McClure, a pathologist and expert in DNA analysis recently recruited to HSN from the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
The new technology will also allow McClure to pursue the development of a program of Personalized Medicine at HSN. Personalized Medicine uses new technologies such as next-generation DNA sequencing to develop customized diagnoses and treatment plans for each patient, based on their individual DNA.
Personalized Medicine leads to more effective and timely treatments, improved outcomes, and fewer side effects, at less cost.
“This equipment will allow us to look at large amounts of a person’s individual DNA sequence so that we can tailor our diagnosis and treatment to give them the best care possible,” said McClure. “There are few clinics at this point which have been able to implement this technology for real patient testing, so this equipment puts us right at the forefront of actual clinical testing using this technology.”
McClure’s research into Personalized Medicine is being conducted through the Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada (AMRIC), which is affiliated with HSN. AMRIC’s research activities are focused on cancer, infectious and chronic diseases, geriatric care, and vaccine development.
“This is an example of how AMRIC is delivering better care and diagnostic excellence to patients in Greater Sudbury and northeastern Ontario,” said Dr. Francisco Diaz-Mitoma, CEO and scientific director of AMRIC.
“We could not do this without excellent community partners such as the Northern Cancer Foundation and Angels in Pink.”
“I want to thank the Northern Cancer Foundation and Angels In Pink for the purchase of this equipment,” said Dr. Denis Roy, HSN’s president and CEO.
“They have not just bought a machine, they have made a significant, strategic investment in the health of northerners, and they’ve enhanced our ability to be a leaders and innovators in patient-centred care.”