University of Calgary researcher receives grant for work into cancer-related fatigue

25 July 2012

Calgary -

The investigation into using light therapy to reduce cancer-related fatigue is just one of 28 cancer research projects awarded the Canadian Cancer Society’s Innovation Grant.

Dr Tavis Campbell of the University of Calgary has received nearly $200,000 for his study, which is assessing the ability of light therapy to improve cancer-related fatigue in post-treatment cancer survivors.

“Most cancer patients experience fatigue during drug treatment – and some still have to cope with tiredness long after they’ve been declared cancer-free,” says Dan Holinda, Executive Director of the Canadian Cancer Society, Alberta/NWT Division. “Therefore, Dr Campbell’s research has the potential to truly improve the quality of life for people fighting back against cancer.”

Cancer-related fatigue – a symptom brought on by chemotherapy, radiation and hormonal drug therapy – is seen in 90 per cent of cancer patients. Furthermore, 35 per cent of patients continue to experience persistent fatigue even five years post-cancer.

Light therapy has been used to relieve fatigue associated with other diseases, but Dr Campbell’s study is the first to investigate this practice in cancer-related fatigue.

Dr Frank Jirik also received Innovation Grant funding of nearly $200,000. He and his team at the University of Calgary are studying ways to harness small molecules to increase blood flow to tumours in an effort to better administer cancer-killing drugs to patients.

About the Innovation Grant

The goal of the Canadian Cancer Society’s new Innovation Grant program is to support unconventional concepts, approaches and methodologies to address problems in cancer research. All 28 projects announced today include elements of creativity, curiosity, investigation, exploration and opportunity. The projects were ranked according to their potential for high reward – meaning their ability to significantly impact our understanding of cancer and generate new approaches to combat the disease by introducing novel ideas into use or practice. This is the second round of Innovation Grant funding that the Canadian Cancer Society has awarded this year.

About the Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For more information, please contact:

Paula Trotter

Communications Coordinator

Phone: 403-541-2339