Top 10 research projects to save more lives

06 July 2015

Montreal -

Your donations make it possible for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) to fund more research on more cancers than any other charity in the country. Your support helps the CCS save more lives. In 2014, we invested $37 million in research, $7 million of which was in Quebec. Here’s an overview of the 10 most noteworthy projects in Quebec in 2014.

 Robert Day

1. Two new drugs

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. Luckily, Dr Robert Day and his team at Université de Sherbrooke have managed to patent two new drugs as well as two promising tools that will significantly improve treatment methods for people with this disease.


2. The anticancer power of certain mutations

Lung cancer is the deadliest of all cancers. In addition, it does not respond well to drugs. A discovery by McGill University’s Dr David Dankort raises for better survival rates. With his team, he discovered that, among lab mice, some genetic mutations have an anticancer power. This finding could give rise to new treatments.

 Caude Perreault

3. An anticancer vaccine

Immunotherapy is an innovative treatment that uses the immune system’s defence mechanism to fight cancer. Dr ClaudePerreault’s team at the Université de Montréal pursued this line of research, which could now benefit many patients. The team has identified new molecules that attract T cells, which are a type of natural signalling machine that can fight germs and diseases. This very promising discovery will help more patients harness the power of their own immune system to work against cancer.

Marie-Élise Parent

4. Preventing prostate cancer

Although prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, its risk factors are not well known. Dr Marie-Élise Parent and her team at the Institut Armand-Frappier Research Centre in Laval have conducted one of the most thorough studies in the world on this subject. Their 10-year research has established a correlation between high exposure to motor vehicle pollution and an increased risk of prostate cancer. This result will give rise to new prevention strategies.


5. Promoting a healthy lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle may prevent cancer, but eating well and exercising regularly don’t necessarily come naturally. To help children learn healthy habits, Université Laval’s Dr Sherri Bisset is studying to what extent schoolyards are conducive to physical games and the limitations of healthy eating programs at school.

 Caroline Diorio

6. Proving the importance of low sugar consumption

We knew that too much sugar in our diet increases the breast cancer risk. Thanks to Dr Caroline Dioro, we now better understand why. With her team at Université Laval, this researcher discovered that in menopausal or premenopausal women, a high-sugar diet increases breast density, which is a known risk factor for breast cancer. This discovery will contribute to the prevention of breast cancer.

Damien D'Amour

7. Better understanding cancer

Cancer cells have the unfortunate characteristic of growing and multiplying rapidly, as a result of which the DNA repair process is constantly active. Thanks to Dr Damien D’Amours and his colleagues at the Université de Montréal, this repair process is now better understood and opens the door to innovative treatments.

 Thierry Alcindor

8. More personalized chemotherapy treatments

Is it better to take one or two chemotherapy drugs when someone has sarcoma (a cancer affecting soft tissues and bones)? Everything depends on the patient, according to a clinical study conducted across 10 countries by Université Laval’s Dr Thierry Alcindor. In fact, taking two drugs is more effective against tumours, but can cause more side effects. Sometimes, it’s a Dr Damien D’Amours, in Montreal. worthwhile option. This discovery will help personalize treatments.


9. Fighting against breast cancer's metastases

While breast cancer responds well to treatment if it is detected early, its prognosis becomes gloomier in the case of metastases (tumors that spread to the rest of the body). Dr Peter Siegel and his team at McGill University in Montreal have thrown light on the mechanisms that lead to the migration of breast cancer. These important observations highlight new treatment strategies to prevent breast cancer metastasis and save more lives.


10. Better understanding the harmful effects of the sun

Exposure to the sun without adequate protection leads to skin damage. The harmful effects of the sun can now be better understood through the work of Dr Elliott Drobetsky. The researcher and his group at Université de Montréal have discovered what makes the repair of the damage caused by the sun in cancer cells go awry. This new knowledge may be a source of new  treatments and innovative prevention strategies.

If you wish to continue to support research today, don’t hesitate to make a special donation dedicated to research or contact us for more information on making a gift through you will.

About the Canadian Cancer Society
With the support of 300,000 donors annually and 30,000 volunteers, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the Quebec cancer charity that can save more lives. Each year, some 135,000 turn to it for help. The CCS is doing all it can to increase the overall cancer survival rate, which is currently 63%, to 80% by 2030.
The money raised by the CCS helps:

  • prevent more cancers and push for laws that protect public health
  • fund more research projects
  • support more people living with cancer

Let’s save more lives. Visit cancer.ca or call us at 1 888 939-3333.