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Q&A with Dr Bray

08 June 2020

Dr Judy BrayDid you know that CCS funds research on all types of cancer impacting people in communities across Canada? Dr Judy Bray, Vice President of Research, explains…

 

 

Why is it important to support research into all types of cancer?

Cancer is not a single disease, but a collection of more than 100 different types, each with its own unique features, but also with many commonalities. Research funded by CCS is showing that where cancer begins in the body may be less important than we originally believed. Many cancer drugs work equally well against different types of cancer, regardless of where in the body they begin.

Is CCS-funded research making a difference throughout the entire cancer journey?

Ideally, we would like to prevent cancer before it starts – and great progress is being made towards that goal. Studies have shown we could prevent about half of all cancers by making healthy lifestyle choices. Also, cancer vaccines, such as the HPV vaccine for cervical cancer, are showing great promise.

In the 1940s, only 25% of people diagnosed with cancer would live 5 years or longer. Now, 63% of people will survive at least 5 years. This improvement is due to advances in early detection and more precise, less damaging ways to deliver surgery, radiotherapy and drug therapy. CCS researchers are working hard to reduce the impact of cancer on all Canadians.

What area of research is CCS currently funding that could revolutionize cancer care?

Perhaps one of the most exciting areas is how much better we are getting at using the body’s own immune system to find and destroy cancer.

Cancer “immunotherapy,” as this treatment is called, is providing new hope for many cancer patients for whom there were previously no effective treatments.

Your generosity funds the most promising research by Canada’s brightest researchers. Thank you for making such important discoveries possible.