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Toronto cancer researchers get $3.1 million boost


Toronto, ON – August 26, 2004 – Seven cancer research projects designed to speed the development of promising new cancer treatments have received a $3.1 million boost from the Ontario Cancer Research Network (OCRN).

“These projects have good potential to lead to new agents and better treatments for cancer,” says Bob Phillips, president and chief executive officer, OCRN.

The funding includes:

– $592,890 for Dr David Spaner at Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre to lead a study on how to make better vaccines to combat leukemia.

– $537,600 for Dr Alejandro Jadad at the University Health Network to create an Internet-based collaborative community to encourage patient participation in cancer clinical trials.

– $526,560 for Dr Ming Sound Tsao at the University Health Network to study whether genetic and protein biomarkers in lung cancer patients can help determine which patients might respond more favourably to a particular type of drug treatment.

– $480,821 for Dr. Jay Wunder at Mount Sinai Hospital to lead a study on the genetic fingerprint of tumours to determine which patients might respond to chemotherapy for childhood bone cancer.

– $414,000 for Dr Mark Minden at the University Health Network to lead a study on whether combining different drugs can improve chemotherapies for leukemia.

– $379,800 for Dr Ian Douglas McGilvray at the University Health Network to lead a study on the genetic connection between chronic liver disease and liver cancer.

– $175,406 for Dr Georg Bjarnason at Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre to lead a study on melatonin therapy in colon and breast cancer patients.

With this funding, OCRN is providing a total of $19 million in direct support for 43 cancer research projects at 12 sites across Ontario.

The organization’s $56 million cancer research fund targets translational cancer research, which aims to develop promising scientific discoveries into new treatment approaches and test them in a clinical setting.