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PROFYLE: How it works

Example of pan-Canadian support for a patient enrolled in PROFYLE. Dots represent cities in which there are PROFYLE sites.

THE PROFYLE initiative has recruited many of Canada’s leaders in pediatric, adolescent and young adult cancer research and care. Our multidisciplinary team consists of more than 50 investigators and collaborators, all working to improve the outcomes of young Canadians with high-risk cancers. There are currently more than 300 patients from across Canada (all provinces represented) enrolled in PROFYLE, and the project plans to continue enrolling patients from every province.

The Challenge

There has been dramatic improvement in treatments and outcomes for many pediatric cancers over the last three decades. However, for the 20% of young people whose cancers have spread, returned, or are resistant to treatment, outcomes remain grim. In fact, around 4,200 young Canadians between the ages of 0 to 29 will be diagnosed with cancer each year, and more than 700 of them will die from it. PROFYLE is a project for children and young adults who have been told they are out of treatment options, giving them another chance.

Our Strategy

Research centers and top scientists and clinicians across Canada are – for the first time – working together to molecularly profile the tumors of young cancer patients. PROFYLE seeks to take advantage of the genomic revolution to look at the molecular composition of these cancers. Molecular profiling is a set of emerging biological tests that looks at an individual's cancer tumor, studying its genetic characteristics and any unique biomarkers. The information gathered will be used to identify and create therapies that are designed to target a specific cancer tumor profile so patients can enjoy a better quality of life and live longer.

How It Works

In the past, if a child battling cancer lived in a region without a molecular profiling site, accessing this was not an option. PROFYLE is breaking down barriers, giving young people who need it the most access to the best cancer care in Canada. For example, a child enrolled in the study will have his or her tumor sample sent to one of three profiling sites in Canada. The results are then discussed at a molecular tumor board – and if the patient meets criteria for a clinical trial suitable for their cancer they will be enrolled.

Patient Enrollment

Only oncologists can enroll patients in PROFYLE -- please check with your doctor for more information and to determine if your child, adolescent, or young adult (ages 0 to 29) meets the project's eligibility criteria.

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