Hamilton study to improve treatment for a hard-to-treat cancer receives $1.2 million in new funding: Canadian Cancer Society announces inaugural Impact Grants

26 February 2013

HAMILTON -

A new type of radiation therapy could potentially change the standard of care for people with inoperable early-stage lung cancer.

The Canadian Cancer Society has awarded a $1.2 million Impact Grant to Dr Anand Swaminath, a radiation oncologist at Juravinski Cancer Centre, to lead a Canadian clinical trial comparing two different types of radiation therapy for lung cancer.

Stereotactic radiation uses advanced imaging techniques to deliver extremely precise high doses of radiation in fewer treatments, while conventional radiation delivers lower doses in more frequent treatments. The effectiveness of these two radiation therapies in treating lung cancers has never been compared in a large clinical trial.

The clinical trial will look at the effectiveness of each type of radiation in shrinking tumours as well as overall survival, severity of side effects and quality of life for patients.

“If stereotactic radiation is found to be more effective than conventional therapy, with fewer side effects and lower healthcare costs, this type of radiation could become the standard of care for inoperable early-stage lung cancer across Canada and internationally,” says Dr Swaminath, Assistant Professor, Department of Oncology, McMaster University.

“Significant funding such as the Society’s Impact Grant provides us the time and resources needed to determine the effectiveness of this therapy and possibly lead to better care for a hard-to-treat cancer,” he added.

“We are thrilled to be able to fund these outstanding new research projects that have such tremendous promise,” says Luba Slatkovska, Senior Manager, Research, Canadian Cancer Society. “In our 75th anniversary year, we remain committed to making a difference in the lives of Canadians by funding the best research and making the most impact against cancer.”

Dr. Swaminath’s grant is one of 11 new Impact Grants awarded today by the Canadian Cancer Society for a total value of more than $13 million. This new funding program is designed to provide a mechanism for scientists to adopt innovations and accelerate the application of new knowledge to address problems in cancer research. These grants have the potential to improve patient quality of life and reduce cancer incidence and deaths.

These are the largest single grants ever offered by the Canadian Cancer Society at a maximum value of $1.25 million per grant over five years. They are highly prestigious grants and are intended to fund the best, most promising cancer science in the country and move it significantly forward.

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