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$16M funding for research into high-risk, inherited cancers


Vancouver, BC – A total of $16-million in funding from the Terry Fox Foundation and three new research partners has been awarded to four Canadian research teams to find new ways to detect and treat high-risk and inherited cancers.

 

The partners are BioCanRX – Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment, the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre and the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation.

 

The Terry Fox New Frontiers Program Project Grant program is highly competitive: following international peer reviews, funds are awarded annually to groups of investigators to support breakthrough and transformative biomedical research which may form the basis for innovative cancer prevention, diagnosis and/or treatment.

 

The funded projects are as follows:

 

British Columbia:

Dr. Steven Jones, associate director of the Canada Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre at the BC Cancer Agency (Vancouver), and colleagues will receive a total of $2.2 million over three years to develop new drugs that use the targeted mechanisms of antibodies to kill only cancer cells and to spare normal ones. Ottawa-based BioCanRx is supporting this work with a $749,000 contribution in addition to TFRI’s $1.5 million.

 

Ontario:

Dr. John Dick, senior scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre/University Health Network (Toronto) and his group of investigators will receive a total of $6.2 million over five years to continue to advance our understanding of “cancer stemness.” He will focus his work on uncovering ways to improve our detection of and treatment for three high-risk cancers: acute myeloid leukemia, myeloma and brain cancer.

 

Dr. David Malkin, senior scientist and oncologist at the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto), along with investigators there and at Dalhousie University in Halifax, will receive $2.2 million over three years to develop better ways to predict the type and age of onset of cancer due to an inherited condition, Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, to detect these cancers earlier, and to identify ways to prevent them from developing in the first place.

 

Quebec:

Dr Vincent Giguére, a scientist and professor of biochemistry, medicine and oncology at McGill University’s Goodman Cancer Research Centre of McGill University (Montreal), and his team will use a $5.3-million, four-year award to understand how metabolic processes and pathways contribute to the growth and survival of cancer cells, leading to treatment resistance and metastasis. In addition to funding from TFRI, this team’s work is supported by McGill University’s Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre Fund  ($554,512) and the Fondation du cancer du sein du Quebec ($500,000).

 

More details on all the projects can be found here.

 

“We are grateful to the Terry Fox Foundation and our new partners for providing $16-million to four outstanding research teams this year,” said Dr. Victor Ling, president and scientific director of The Terry Fox Research Institute. “It takes many donors, partners and teams working together to tackle the big challenges in cancer research.”

 

This year is the 35th anniversary year of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope, and the Terry Fox New Frontiers Program Project Grant program was created over 30 years ago. A highly competitive program, funds are awarded annually to support breakthrough and transformative biomedical research which may form the basis for innovative cancer prevention, diagnosis and/or treatment. Launched in October 2007, the Terry Fox Research Institute is the brainchild of The Terry Fox Foundation and today functions as its research arm.