High-tech, personalized cancer research receives significant funding

22 March 2018

High-tech, personalized cancer research receives significant fundingIn its most recent funding round, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) has committed to invest almost $8.7 million in 7 new research projects, all of which are super precision, high-technology forms of personalized medicine. This year, CCS will invest almost $2 million to help these projects kick-off.

Dr David Huntsman, a researcher with the University of British Columbia, is one of the recipients of research funding. As a leading expert in ovarian cancer, Dr Huntsman and his team will examine the biology and behaviour of this disease in order to learn more about how this cancer starts and grows. To study the development of this cancer, a high-tech, novel tool will be used.

“Clear cell carcinoma is the second most common type of ovarian cancer. It’s poorly understood and there are no effective treatments for advanced disease,” says Dr Huntsman. “Improved understanding of this disease is critical to developing effective diagnosis, treatment and prevention strategies.”

In Ontario, Dr Paul Boutros with the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research was also a recipient of research funding. Dr Boutros and his team will perform advanced genetic studies of prostate cancer to identify patterns of mutations that could predict the aggressiveness of the disease – something that currently cannot be identified until treatment has already failed and the disease has progressed.

“Although most men with prostate cancer can be cured with surgery or radiation therapy, some have very aggressive tumours that require more intensive therapy,” says Dr Boutros. “We will study nearly 3,000 prostate cancers to identify changes in their genetic material. By understanding these changes and knowing what to look for, we can identify men prior to treatment who are at the highest risk of having an aggressive prostate cancer.”

The research projects were funded through the CCS Impact Grant program, which supports research projects that have the potential to make a significant impact on the burden of disease in patients and populations.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can support research at CCS, please call 1-888-939-3333 or email connect@cancer.ca.