News

Hot off the Press! Intraoperative Fluorescence Imaging with Aminolevulinic Acid Decets Grossly Occult Breast Cancer: A Phase II Randomized Controlled Trial is published in Breast Cancer Research
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After a lengthy journey, our paper “Intraoperative fluorescence imaging with aminolevulinic acid detects grossly occult breast cancer: a phase II randomized controlled trial” has been published in Breast Cancer Research as an open access article. The journal is widely read globally by general surgeons and breast cancer clinicians, so we are pleased it will receive broad clinical exposure and impact specifically in (breast) surgical oncology. This trial, led by Dr. DaCosta, was conducted at The Princess Margaret Cancer Center (Toronto, Canada) and demonstrates the importance of strong collaborations between our (imaging) scientists and clinicians at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center.  For…

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Welcome 2021 Summer Students!
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We would like to welcome 5 high school and undergraduate summer students who will be joining the lab this year: Ben Daynes (Aurora High School, Grade 12) Project: Developing health monitoring spectrometer with built-in light source for detection of urine biomarkers. Rachel Jacobson (Wilfred Laurier University, 1st year) Project: Investigating immunotherapy in acute myelogenous leukemia. Christos Kapetanios (Queen’s University, 2nd year) Project: Developing outreach program to educate and guide students looking for opportunities in cancer research. Zuha Qureshi (University of Toronto, 1st year) Project: Assisting with data collection and entry for the ALA Breast Cancer study Connor McFadden (Collège Français…

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Dr. DaCosta to Deliver Keynote Presentation at St Michael’s 4th Annual Life Sciences Career Symposium
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The St. Michael’s Hospital Research Student Association’s annual Life Sciences Career Symposium aims to connect trainees to distinguished experts in the Life Sciences. This year’s Symposium will take place on July 9th, 2021, featuring keynote speakers Dr. Samantha Yammine and Dr. Ralph DaCosta. Dr.DaCosta will headline the Biotechnology and Innovation session (1-3PM), sharing his experiences on his journey to becoming an academic scientist and entrepreneur in cancer imaging. Register here

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Dr. DaCosta participates in Annual 2021 MBP Career Symposium
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The annual MBP Symposium (which combines the James Lepock Memorial (JLM) Symposium and the annual MBP Alumni Night) is an important MBP event that provides an opportunity for MBP students to present their research in a conference setting. The MBP Symposium fosters scientific debate across disciplines, streams and institutes. MBP students have the opportunity to showcase their research in the form of either a scientific poster or oral presentation at the Symposium, and best presenters are recognized with merit awards. This event also featured keynote addresses from both local and international experts in the field of Medical Biophysics. This event…

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Dr. Niloufar Khosravi featured on U of T Faculty of Dentistry Website
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Niloufar Khosravi, a DaCosta Lab PhD student alumna was recently featured on U of T’s Faculty of Dentistry site. In the Article, “U of T Researchers Map Regenerative Cells in Implant Wounds” Niloufar summarized her work recently published in Biomaterials.

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Intraoperative Fluorescence Imaging with Aminolevulinic Acid Detects Grossly Occult Breast Cancer: A Phase II Randomized Controlled Trial: Manuscript accepted to Breast Cancer Research
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In 2009, the first patient was enrolled at Princess Margaret Cancer Center in this Phase II randomized controlled trial led by Dr. DaCosta in collaboration with surgeons Drs. Wey Leong and Alexandra Easson and pathologist Dr. Susan Done. The goal was to evaluate the clinical safety, feasibility and diagnostic performance of the PRODIGI handheld fluorescence imaging device combined with 5-ALA HCl for intraoperative visualization of invasive breast carcinomas. The Phase II trial was supported in large part by a $3M CIHR grant awarded to the DaCosta lab. Today, over a decade later, the manuscript for this study was accepted for…

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World’s 1st Patient Surgery in Pivotal Phase III breast cancer trial
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  Today marks an important milestone for SBI Canada’s Phase III RCT entitled “Fluorescence Imaging of Carcinoma During Breast Conserving Surgery”, as the first patient surgery was performed successfully at Orlando Health in Orlando, Florida. (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04815083) This trial utilizes the tumor selectivity of 5-ALA combined with the handheld Eagle fluorescence imaging device to enable surgeons to conduct improved intraoperative margin assessment and fluorescence-guided breast conserving surgery. Recruitment of additional clinical trial sites is underway and expected to include 20 surgical centers across Canada and the Unites States, including Princess Margaret Cancer Center.

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Helen Jin is going to Medical School!
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We would like to congratulate Helen Jin on her acceptance into the University of Western Ontario MD Program, knowing she was also accepted to several other prestigious MD programs across Canada. Helen joined the DaCosta Lab in 2019 to pursue her MSc in the Department of Medical Biophysics, UofT and will be graduating in June 2021. During her time as a devoted member of our team, Helen has spearheaded projects and successful peer-reviewed grants (CIHR, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Cancer Research Society) examining leukemia cell biology and potential immunotherapeutic options using a novel murine femur window chamber model to image…

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World’s 1st Patient Enrolled in International FDA Approved Phase III RCT of Breast Cancer Surgery
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Today, SBI ALApharma Canada Inc., a subsidiary of photonamic GmbH & Co. KG (Pinneberg, Germany), a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, Inc. (Minato-ku, Tokyo) announced it has enrolled the first patient in its Pivotal Phase III randomized controlled trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of PD G 506 A (5-ALA HCl) in margin assessment during breast conserving surgery, after receiving FDA IND clearance for the trial in April. Detailed information can be found here. These achievements mark important steps in SBI Canada’s ongoing clinical investigations into the use of 5-ALA’s tumor selectivity and the novel fully handheld Eagle imaging technology for…

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Fluorescence-Guided Breast Cancer Surgery: International Pivotal Phase III RCT receives FDA IND Clearance
1030 579 DaCosta Lab

Today, SBI ALApharma Canada Inc., a subsidiary of photonamic GmbH & Co. KG ( Pinneberg, Germany), a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, Inc. (Minato-ku, Tokyo); received FDA Investigational New Drug (IND) clearance for its Pivotal Phase III randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluating the safety and efficacy of PD G 506 A (5-ALA HCl) in intraoperative margin assessment during breast conserving surgery. This multicenter trial involves over 400 patients across 20 centers across the US and Canada and will use SBI Canada’s patented intraoperative handheld Eagle Fluorescence Imaging SystemTM to visualize 5-ALA-induced protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) fluorescence in real-time in breast cancer tissues during surgery.…

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