Clinical Informatics

Driving discovery through big data analysis

Patient data is scattered across many disconnected systems and often buried within clinical notes. This requires lengthy manual processes to collect the data into one location, and to find complex outcomes, such as how well a treatment works and how well the patient can tolerate the treatment, that are not captured at the point of care in a measurable fashion. In addition, many forms of patient information are very complex, containing more information than can be analyzed by a human. Often, advanced computer-based analysis is required.

A platform connecting scientists and health records

The Clinical Informatics Platform team, led by Dr. Marshall Pitz, Affiliate Scientist at the Institute and Chief Medical Information Officer, is implementing a data solution to ensure extremely high-quality data is integrated and available to all CancerCare researchers. The platform team is working to collect and organize clinical information from multiple sources so that it can be more easily analyzed by conventional statistics and enable the use of modern data science techniques such as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) in our research, in a contemporary analytics environment. Access to structured and curated clinical data with the extensive breadth, depth, and history of the world-class Manitoba datasets is a unique resource for scientists. Linking these data with pathology, radiology, laboratory, and multi-omic data will build capability in precision medicine research.

This has been beyond the reach of individual researchers and has limited both the type of research that can be done and the ability to translate this research into better patient treatments and care. The goal of the platform is to improve the impact and translational relevance of all research activities at CancerCare Manitoba. This Platform continues to support research within the Institute, in concert with the Institute’s Research Office and CCMB’s Department of Epidemiology.

Research Platforms — Tools of Discovery

The Research Institute provides several core resources, or platforms, to member scientists that enable the advancement of their research. The platforms, detailed below, include specialized technologies, equipment, data, and services. While each platform has important scientific applications on its own, the collective suite enables collaborations and synergies across research disciplines. Thus platform investment decisions are an important strategic function of CancerCare. Funding for the platforms includes the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, managed research grants, and various funding agencies, universities, and government bodies. 

Manitoba Tumour Bank

A biobank facility with a collection of cancer-related tissues

This well-curated and annotated repository provides a critical research service for our scientists and others across Canada and internationally.

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Genomics and Bioinformatics

Delivery of the right care to the right patient — at the right time

Genomic sequencing is key to precision medicine, enabling medical decisions based on the patient’s unique genomic composition of cells.

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Cancer Modeling & Imaging Core

The study of cancer in whole organisms

Cancer modelling is essential in the development of novel cancer therapies that may subsequently be used to effectively treat cancer patients.

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Quantitative Imaging, Phenotyping & Sorting (QuIPS)

Foundational for cancer and blood disorder research

Understanding how cells act and interact with each other helps identify the molecular events driving cancer development and progression.

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