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waveThe Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario’s online magazine highlighted WaveCheck on February 3, 2014 as a more personalized approach to cancer treatments because of the technology’s ability to effectively monitor chemotherapy response.

WaveCheck’s technology, invented by Dr. Gregory Czarnota of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Professor Michael C. Kolios of Ryerson University, allows women and men undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer to know if their treatment is working at the beginning of treatment (within one to four weeks) rather than at the end of treatment (typically four to six months).

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women, excluding non-melanoma skin cancers. It is the second leading cause of death from cancer in women in this country. The Canadian Cancer Society estimated that, in 2013, 65 Canadian women would be diagnosed with breast cancer every day, totaling 23,800 women a year; and 14 Canadian women would die from breast cancer every day, totaling 5,000 women a year. According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, one in nine Canadian women is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime; one in 29 will die from it.

“Sixty to seventy percent of breast cancer treatments can actually fail, and that’s a hard reality for patients and their families to face,” explains Czarnota, Chief of Radiation Oncology at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre.

Personalized medicine seemed the way to go, for Czarnota: “Cancer tumours can be as unique as the people who develop them. The difficulty is, often, it’s a one-size-fits-all treatment and that necessarily doesn’t work for everyone. We needed a more accurate, more efficient way to monitor cancer therapies… And that’s exactly what we’ve developed.”

“We’ve created a tool that we think will finally get rid of the guess work, giving patients and their treating physicians real information about how a tumour is responding to their treatment,” Kolios adds.

WaveCheck was the focus of a novel Indiegogo campaign from October to December 2013. The campaign raised $53,390 to fund three more studies to reflect the success of WaveCheck’s initial study at Sunnybrook and is one of the top health campaigns in Indiegogo’s history.

CAHO is a non-profit association of Ontario’s 24 academic hospitals and their research institutes.  To read the full article on their website, click here.

Posted by Kailee Travis, writer and communications assistant. 

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