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$47M in cancer research projects funded across Canada


Toronto, ON – The Canadian Cancer Society is awarding $47 million to 73 new cancer research projects across the country this year.

Some of the projects being funded include:

Dr. Raymond Andersen, University of British Columbia: $685,000 over five years to try and develop new anti-cancer drugs sourced from sea animals such as sponges and the powerful chemicals they house inside. A drug developed by Dr Andersen during a previous grant from the society is already being tested in phase II clinical trials with lung cancer patients. Another developed to treat blood cancers such as multiple myeloma is looking promising in laboratory tests and with the new funding, Dr Andersen is optimistic it will move to clinical trials soon.

Dr Abhijit Guha, Hospital for Sick Children: $406,360 over three years to study whether finding a way to affect a particular gene’s activity will lead to a new treatment for glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive type of brain cancer with an average survival of only a year.

Dr Johann Hitzler, Toronto: $381,000 over five years to study acute megakaryocytic leukemia, specificially the mechanisms underlying this cancer with the long-term goal of early detection in newborns and possibly prevention.

Dr David Hogg, University of Toronto: $358,600 over three years to study a gene that appears to help prevent melanoma with the goal of creating new ways to prevent or treat this particularly dangerous type of skin cancer.

Dr David Kaplan, Hospital for Sick Children: $705,000 over five years to study neuroblastoma, a type of nerve cell cancer that affects infants and young children.

Dr Brian Lichty, McMaster University: $319,400 over three years to study a virus called VSV, which has potential both as a cancer-killing virus and a way to stimulate the immune system to destroy cancer cells.

Dr David LeBrun, Queen’s University: $421,245 over three years to study a protein that causes healthy cells to become leukemia cells. By finding a way to block this protein’s activity, the research may lead to a basis for improved treatments, particularly for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common childhood cancer.

Dr Loraine Marrett, Cancer Care Ontario: $466,780 over two years to conduct a survey on Canadians’ sun behaviours, which will provide data for developing strategies to prevent skin cancer.

Dr Robert Nam, University of Toronto: $462,000 over three years to test his newly developed nomogram prediction tool, which calculates a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer using the standard PSA blood test in combination with other factors such as age, family history and race.

Dr Jennifer O’Loughlin, based in Montreal: $1.1 million over five years to continue a long-term study investigating nicotine addiction in young adults and to find out why 20% of Canadian youth become adult smokers.