In medical research, a cohort is a group of patients who are experiencing similar symptoms, which may be monitored over a period of time. Detailed patient data and biological samples are usually obtained by all the patients, and analysed for trends. Consent is an important aspect of cohorts; patients are included only if they have given informed consent.
The PROOF Centre has access to a number of patient cohorts, consisting of groups of transplant patients, or patients with heart, lung or kidney diseases. These cohorts are provincially-based, Canada-wide or international in scope. These cohorts are used for discovering and validating biomarkers to predict patient outcomes including the risk of organ failure.
Many of the patient cohorts used by the PROOF Centre researchers and collaborators are already well established and well characterized. Using established resources is an efficient approach, and saves both time and money, and allows us to speed up development of these new tests and apply them sooner.