CariGenetics Breast Cancer Study Update

May 1, 2024 | 0 Comments

CariGenetics announced “significant progress of its Caribbean Breast Cancer Whole Genome Pilot Study.”

A spokesperson said, “CariGenetics, the pioneering research company dedicated to better understanding the genetics of the Caribbean community, is thrilled to announce at the start of Cancer Research Month and Bermuda Heritage Month the significant progress of its Caribbean Breast Cancer Whole Genome Pilot Study. This landmark study, a first-of-its-kind for the Caribbean, has successfully recruited all of the Bermuda cohort participants, completed all whole genome sequencing locally, completed analysis of all 102 samples and has started identifying new genetic trends of breast cancer, marking 4 major milestones for the wider Caribbean community.

Progress Update:

“As of March 7, 2024, CariGenetics achieved full recruitment for the study, with a total of 102 women participants. The dedication and enthusiasm of our community have been overwhelming, with 169 participants registering to join this groundbreaking research. After verification and vetting for eligibility, the study boasts 51 patient group and 51 control group members fully enrolled with informed consent. As of March 19, 2024, all participant samples have been genetically sequenced by Bermudian scientists and analysed as of April 28, 2024.

“CariGenetics is excited to host its Free Annual Public Lecture where the public can learn more details about the preliminary results of its groundbreaking research. We welcome individuals to RSVP to join us at 2 pm on May 18th 2024, at the Athene Lecture Theatre at Bermuda College. This lecture will be hosted both in-person and virtually for those who may want to attend remotely.

“The study has already caught international attention with Lead Researcher and Founder & CEO of CariGenetics, Bermudian biochemist & geneticist Dr Carika Weldon, being invited as a plenary speaker at the Oxford Nanopore Technologies annual global conference, London Calling, in London later this month. CariGenetics has also been invited by a top pharmaceutical company to present in person for a potential partnership based on the merits of this study.”

Dr. Carika Weldon, Lead Researcher and Founder & CEO, said, “Just a year ago, this study was merely a concept, awaiting ethical approval and lacking essential resources. We had no local recruiter, no sequencing machine equipped for high throughput, and only initial seed funding from the Innovation Program managed by the Bermuda Health Council. Yet, here we stand today, a testament to Bermuda’s excellence, having successfully executed the project within a remarkably short timeframe.

“Recruitment was completed in less than six months. Our lab team, upon receiving certification, immediately undertook this extensive project, processing all samples in less than two months. The analysis was concluded within six weeks of sequencing completion. Despite significant challenges and setbacks, we have achieved our goal. The results are both exciting and profound, and it fills me with immense joy to bring my passion for genetics back to my island home in such a significant way. This marks only the beginning of our journey.”

Nurse Khamani Fox, Project Lead and Recruiting Genomic Nurse, said, “We are immensely proud of the progress we’ve made with the Breast Cancer Whole Genome Pilot Study. This study is not just a scientific endeavour; it’s a beacon of hope for our community. By focusing on the unique genetic makeup of Caribbean people, we aim to unlock new pathways for early detection, prevention, and personalised treatment of breast cancer. Our commitment to cancer research is unwavering, and we look forward to continuing our studies to include other forms of cancer in the coming months.”

Tahdaé Tucker, Laboratory Manager, said, “Completing our first ever human genetics project for a cause that has affected so many of our lives feels gratifying and hopefully provides a valuable foundation for important and impactful work to come. A special congrats to my lab team who have worked tirelessly to see it to the finish line. You have shown so much resilience and I am proud of our contribution to this crucial initiative.”

Why This Study Matters:

The spokesperson said, “Breast cancer remains one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths among women worldwide, with the Caribbean having 4 of the top 10 countries dying from the disease, including the top spot. Previous studies have only looked for known genetic markers discovered from European studies in Caribbean women. CariGenetics’ study is scientifically significant as it’s the first study that can find novel genetic and epigenetics markers in breast cancer in Caribbean women, whilst being completely conducted in the region. CariGenetics seeks to fill the critical gap in genetic research and healthcare solutions tailored to the Caribbean population. By understanding the rich unique genetics of the Caribbean, CariGenetics aims to contribute valuable insights to the global fight against cancer.

Join Us in the Fight Against Cancer:

“This Cancer Research Month and Bermuda Heritage Month, we are proud to also officially launch, in partnership with the Daily Male, the Caribbean Prostate Cancer Whole Genome Pilot Study. We jointly call on our men to now step up to the wicket and help us combat prostate cancer in our community. We are seeking 50 men 18 and older who have either been diagnosed with prostate cancer [for patient group] and 50 men who have no diagnosis or first degree relative with cancer [i.e no parent, sibling or child, for the control group] should register their interest in joining the study here.

“We also invite you to join us in celebrating these significant milestones by attending our free public lecture on May 18th; please RSVP here. To continue supporting our efforts in cancer research you can buy a limited edition Bermuda Cricket Board X CariGenetics Breast Cancer Support Partnership “Get In The Match” T-shirt and wear it to the public lecture in solidarity. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer in the Caribbean and beyond.

“For more information about the Caribbean Breast Cancer Whole Genome Pilot Study or the Caribbean Prostate Cancer Whole Genome Pilot Study and our upcoming research initiatives, please visit”

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