Canadian Cancer Society invests in promising cancer prevention research with contribution from Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life

24 May 2012

TORONTO -

The Canadian Cancer Society welcomes a generous contribution from Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life to support the promising cancer prevention research of a young scientist at the University of Manitoba.

The Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life Junior Investigator Award in Prevention Research represents a commitment of $50,000 a year for three years to fund the research of Dr. Salaheddin Mahmud.

Dr. Mahmud is studying whether certain widely used medications, such as aspirin, cholesterol lowering drugs and anti-depressants, could prevent major cancers, such as prostate, colon and cervical cancer. His study proposal won the scientist a Prevention Initiative Junior Investigator Award from the Canadian Cancer Society in 2011.

The Canadian Cancer Society Prevention Initiative invests strategically in opportunities that will expand cancer prevention research activities in Canada, with the ultimate goal of reducing cancer incidence among Canadians.

“If Dr Mahmud’s research finds that a commonly used drug reduces cancer risk, this would build a case for conducting clinical trials,” said Dr Christine Williams, Vice-President, Research, Canadian Cancer Society. “The results of this study could also improve our understanding of how cancers develop, potentially leading to the development of more effective drugs.”

An Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba, Dr. Mahmud, was selected to receive this national award through a rigorous peer review process. His goal is to become a leading cancer researcher, based in a Canadian academic department, and working on a well-developed pharmacoepidemiology research program dedicated to cancer chemoprevention.

“We are delighted that Great-West Life and its subsidiaries have chosen to invest in our Prevention Initiative,” said Susan Horvath, Vice President, Leadership Philanthropy, Canadian Cancer Society. “The Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life Junior Investigator Award in Prevention Research is a significant contribution that will expand cancer prevention research in Canada and could potentially identify accessible new ways to prevent devastating cancers.”

“As leading life and health insurers in Canada, Great-West Life and its subsidiaries are honoured to work with the Canadian Cancer Society to help explore prevention possibilities,” said Jan Belanger, Assistant Vice-President, Community Affairs, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life. “Investing in young researchers and supporting emerging solutions can lead to innovative and more importantly, tangible outcomes for healthcare delivery.”

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:

Justin Edmonstone

Public Affairs

Canadian Cancer Society

Ontario Division

Phone: 416-323-7026