WICC Alberta invests $200,000 in innovative cancer research

28 January 2016

Calgary -

We know a lot about what causes cancer: aging, tobacco use and physical inactivity to name just a few things.

But it remains largely unknown exactly how human cells protect themselves from mutating into cancer. Researchers at the University of Alberta hopes to shed light on this mystery, and thanks to a $200,000 grant the Alberta Chapter of Women In Insurance Cancer Crusade (WICC) provided through the Canadian Cancer Society, that work is underway.

“WICC chose to fund Dr Glover as an Alberta-based researcher doing work in an arena that will potentially impact all cancers. Dealing with the impact of proteins on cancer treatment as well as on prevention is an exciting area of discovery,” says Amy Foggin, co-chair, WICC Alberta. The 2015 WICC Innovation Fund Studying the Role of Proteins in Cancer Cell Growth will support Dr Glover’s research through 2018.

Dr Mark Glover and his team are working to understand how a family of proteins, called ASPP proteins, control the growth of cancerous cells. Many types of cancers exhibit changes in ASPP proteins, which are thought to contribute to the development of cancer as well as how well the cancer responds to treatment. Specifically, Dr Glover is examining how ASPP proteins interact with other proteins, and how this interaction ultimately contributes to mutations that lead to cancer.

“I want to use our understanding of how proteins function in cells at the molecular level to understand where cancer comes from and how to precisely treat cancer to avoid many of the side effects of current treatments,” says Dr Glover

Dr Glover’s research has the potential to unveil ways we can better prevent cancer and improve how we treat several cancers by identifying and targeting specific mutated proteins.

“We appreciate the considered evaluation that happens behind the scenes at the Canadian Cancer Society,” Foggin says. “Knowing that research projects are chosen by the Society based on promise reassures us that our funds are directed strategically. Our aim is to have the most impact possible. The WICC board is honored to represent our insurance industry partners in this choice; it is not a responsibility we take lightly.”

Dr Glover received a Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute grant in 2015, which has now been fully funded by WICC Alberta.

About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers and staff whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer. Thanks to our donors and volunteers, the Society has the most impact, against the most cancers, in the most communities in Canada. Building on our progress, we are working with Canadians to change cancer forever. Make your gift today at cancer.ca.

About the Alberta Chapter of Women In Insurance Cancer Crusade (WICC)
The Alberta Chapter of WICC has been raising funds specifically for Canadian Cancer Society-funded research since 2000, contributing more than $2.3 million to date. This chapter continues to succeed thanks to the generosity and support of the Alberta insurance community.

For more information, please contact:

Paula Trotter

Communications Coordinator

Phone: 403-541-2339