Dr. Tracy Stockley

Advanced Molecular Diagnostic Lab (AMDL) an unsung hero

There are as many as 700 clinical trials underway at The Princess Margaret with unsung heroes behind the scenes making it all possible, including the team at the Advanced Molecular Diagnostic Lab (AMDL) who provide gene testing for any clinical trial that needs it.

AMDL was created in 2011, to support a trial that was exploring the molecular profiling of tumour tissue. The trial took four years, and at the end of it, it was clear that it could be a resource for other trials. Dr. Tracy Stockley runs AMDL, and says the real value is that the gene testing allows clinicians to provide trial participants with the best possible care.

“It is a cutting-edge approach,” says Dr. Stockley. “Patients are all different. Sometimes their cancer grows more quickly, or it grows more slowly. We test them, and then we convene a molecular tumour board where we sit together and try to determine what the patient should be treated with, or at least understand how the cancer might progress.”

As of last year, AMDL was supporting some 25 trials. Over the years, the lab has become known not only for supporting clinical trials, but for developing techniques that are now being used across the country. Dr. Stockley, one of the unsung heroes, says The Princess Margaret is the real hero.

“This is such a special place. There is so much great science going on and so many great clinicians completely dedicated to the patients. It is so attractive to be at the heart of that.”

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