How to Scale Cancer Genomics, with Marco Marra, UBC

Marco Marra, Director & Distinguished Scientist, Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency; Professor & Head, Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia; UBC Canada Research Chair in Genome Science.

Bio and Contact Info


0:00 An early case of using NGS in cancer care

5:51 Is this a standard test yet?

10:15 Access to off label drugs still a roadblock

11:52 A much different regulatory environment

15:24 How does this scale?

20:00 Quality or quantity?

Back in 2009 at the annual AGBT meeting for sequencing, Marco Marra presented one of the first cases of cancer treatment using whole genome sequencing.

We caught up with Marco at his office at the University of British Columbia where he heads the Department of Medical Genetics. Marco also directs the Genome Sciences Center which is part of a very special organization called the BC Cancer Agency.

In 2012 Marco and his team began a pilot project at the agency to scale up their work from just a one off case to more routine treatment. While doing whole genome and whole transcriptome testing is not yet “standard of care” for cancer patients, the scientists and researchers at the agency have the opportunity to sit down with oncologists on a weekly basis and explore its use with several patients at a time.

What are the major questions and challenges Marco has encountered in scaling? How is the regulatory environment for genomic testing in Canada? And which camp does Marco adhere to when it comes to whole genome sequencing: quantity or quality?

Join us as we talk to the number two cited scientist in all of Canada.

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