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Shared Access Medicine:  an Approach to Rare Tumours (SMART)

A step towards personalized medicine.

SMART is a pilot program of the OVCARE consortium designed to advance the treatment of patients with the less common forms of cancer. SMART is co-led by Drs. Jessica McAlpine and Anna Tinker of the B.C. Cancer Agency and is supported by a mutidisciplinary team of clinical investigators and research scientists in OVCARE.

The core infrastructure of SMART consists of a tumour registry and outcome database for rare histotypes and molecular subtypes of cancer. The goal of SMART is to encourage uniform treatment of patients with rare tumours and to collect the treatment outcomes for analysis. Through the development of individualized new treatment strategies for rare tumours based on our knowledge of the molecular differences between histologic and molecular subtypes and through the collection of outcomes from a large cohort of patients, we will be able to more accurately determine the efficacy of new therapies which has not been previously possible.

SMART will accelerate the acquisition of early treatment data, assessment of treatment strategies, and open the door to feasible international studies in rare tumours. The SMART program encourages communication between clinicians and researchers outside of OVCARE.

In addition, SMART provides an opportunity to collect rare tumor samples from multiple centers for translational studies. These may in turn unveil new targets for future study.

For more information or to register for a study, please click on the individual SMART Open Studies currently available.

The first ever launched SMART project is focused on mucinous ovarian carcinomas. This study tests the outcomes of a targeted therapy for a specific protein HER2 which is common in this type of ovarian cancer. More information for clinicians and patients regarding this study can be found at

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