At the core of the BC OCPP is the OCPL, a globally unique study that follows patients identified with precancer over time with the objective to evaluate clonal/molecular approaches to create an integrated plan for oral dysplasia/cancer assessment and management that is rapid and cost-effective. Over the past 21 years, we have followed almost 2700 patients with oral cancer and precancer and have built one of the world’s largest clinically annotated biobanks of oral premalignant lesions that have progressed to cancer. The OCPL study has amassed a valuable and unique biobank of clinically annotated longitudinally collected oral precancerous and cancerous tissue specimens (saliva, blood, oral cytology brushings, frozen tissue samples and extracted DNA from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue samples). As part of this research, we have developed guidelines for screening, technology for assessing lesion risk, and markers to help predict outcome - who will progress to oral cancer. Our lab has developed the only validated biomarker for the malignant transformation of low-grade premalignant disease, based on loss of heterozygosity (LOH). There is a wide variety of subprojects and collaborations currently underway within this study. For 18 years, this study ran within the BC Cancer Oral Oncology department in the Vancouver and Fraser Valley Centres and VGH. In 2015 we transitioned from a hospital-based program to a community-based program and launched the Next Gen Oral Dysplasia Clinics. The study is open to accrual and we currently operate two clinics, one at the UBC Faculty of Dentistry Frontier Clinical Research Centre and a second at the Pacific Oral Health Centre (POHC) in south Surrey. The objectives of these clinics include: 1) the follow-up of low-grade dysplasias at high-risk of progression; 2) to serve as a referral centre for patients in the community who cannot access typical referral pathways, predominantly due to cost; 3) education and capacity building for health professionals; and 4) to develop a centre of excellence that will be globally recognized for novel solutions to preventing oral cancer.
BC Cancer Foundation is the fundraising partner of BC Cancer, which includes BC Cancer Research. Together with our donors, we are changing cancer outcomes for British Columbians by funding innovative research and personalized treatment and care.