The Canadian Tumour Repository Network is making available over 7,000 cancer tumour samples for researchers all over the world in order to help them get started. Cancer researchers the world over are hailing this step as a major one that will go a long way in making research truly international.
"Cancer is not just one disease, it's a multitude of diseases in which a gene is misbehaving. Since it is multiple diseases, you have to have multiple tissue samples," said Peter Geary, director and CEO of the Canadian Tumour Repository Network. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research has announced a $3.8 million grant for this initiative and Geary said this would fund the network, providing "the glue to hold it together." The new tissue bank will be known as CTRNet and is North America's first national tumour bank network. What this does is it creates a tumor cell network from where samples will be available to researchers all over the world. "It's really a time of huge growth and development in human cancer research," said Dr. Brent Schacter, CEO of the Canadian Association of Provincial Cancer Agencies. He added that tumor samples were needed to understand the technical aspects of cancer development. Researchers will be able to now look at why some drugs inhibit the development of tumors and any common factors present in various cancers.