A network approach to developing immuno-oncology combinations in Canada

Exactis Innovation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Immune checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionized care for many cancer indications, with considerable effort now being focused on increasing the rate, depth, and duration of patient response. One strategy is to combine immune strategies (for example, ctla-4 and PD-1/L1–directed agents) to harness additive or synergistic efficacy while minimizing toxicity. Despite encouraging results with such combinations in multiple tumour types, numerous clinical challenges remain, including a lack of biomarkers that reliably predict outcome, the emergence of therapeutic resistance, and optimal management of immune-related toxicities. Furthermore, the selection of ideal combinations from the myriad of immune, systemic, and locoregional therapies has yet to be determined. A longitudinal network-based approach could offer advantages in addressing those critical questions, including long-term follow-up of patients beyond individual trials. The molecular cancer registry Personalize My Treatment, managed by the Networks of Centres of Excellence nonprofit organization Exactis Innovation, is uniquely positioned to accelerate Canadian immuno-oncology (io) research efforts throughout its national network of cancer sites. To gain deeper insight into how a pan-Canadian network could advance research in io combinations, Exactis invited preeminent clinical and scientific advisors from across Canada to a roundtable event in November 2017. The present white paper captures the expert advice provided: leverage longitudinal patient data collection; facilitate network collaboration and assay harmonization; synergize with existing initiatives, networks, and biobanks; and develop an io combination trial based on Canadian discoveries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Biobanking
  • Cancer networks
  • Immuno-oncology
  • Molecular cancer registries
  • Molecular profiling
  • Precision oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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