Edmonton, AB – The Alberta Cancer Foundation is providing $3 million in funding for a colorectal research project to study methods for preventing tumours from repairing themselves after radiation treatment.
Some tumours have strong DNA repair systems and can withstand and recover from the damage to their DNA caused by radiation therapy or chemo drugs. This research team, led by University of Alberta and Cross Cancer Institute researcher, Dr. Michael Weinfeld, will develop a new drug to block the ability of those tumours to resist treatment and repair their own DNA. The team will also design nanocarriers to deliver those drugs to tumour tissues, where the drugs can accumulate and spare the healthy tissue.
Recognizing the importance of the work done on DNA cell repair, the Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded last month to scientists who mapped, at a molecular level, how cells repair damaged DNA and safeguard the genetic information. Dr. Weinfeld’s research has contributed to that global body of work.
“Dr. Weinfeld has a rich history of being both an innovator and a leader in cancer research,” said Richard Fedorak, interim dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta. “This funding will allow his team to generate valuable new knowledge about colorectal cancer, which, in turn, will lead to more effective patient treatment.”