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Cancer and research: 5 reasons to give (2017)

Our donors have enabled us to make great strides in cancer research, so we feel it’s important to recognize the progress made by the researchers we subsidized in 2017 thanks to your generosity and to highlight the promising research projects we hope to fund in the near future.

 Researcher Dr. Trang Hoang

1. Better treatments for children

The leading cause of death from disease in Canadian children is cancer, and the most common cancer they are diagnosed with is acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Dr Trang Hoang, a researcher from the Université de Montréal’s Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer, discovered which cells drive the growth of some ALL cells. Her lab is now seeking to learn which of the thousands of potential drugs out there can best destroy these cells with the fewest side effects

Researcher Sylvie Mader

2. Defusing breast cancer

Doctors don’t know why some breast cancers fail to respond to some treatments as well as expected. Dr Sylvie Mader studies two proteins that may play a key role in this matter. Along with her team from the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer, she is trying to modify these proteins in order to transform aggressive breast cancers into more easily treatable cancers. In addition to improving our knowledge of breast cancer, her work could lead to better treatments.

Dr. Michel Tremblay

3. Using the immune system to better fight cancer

While our immune system usually protects us from infections and diseases, it’s not nearly as effective at protecting us from cancer. Nevertheless, the stimulating immune defences at any cost would be the right way to treat cancer. In fact, it could even be detrimental to our health! Fortunately, researcher Michel Tremblay and his team from McGill University have discovered that immune system function can be adjusted in order to make it more effective against tumours without jeopardizing a patient’s health. Their promising results will be tested on patients as part of clinical trials in 2018.

4. A new avenue for preventing breast cancer

Premenopausal women with particularly dense breasts have higher risk of developing breast cancer. Thanks to the work of Dr Caroline Diorio, we now better understand the causes of this density. She and her team from Université Laval found a link between breast tissue density and pro-inflammatory substances in the breast. Her results provide a better understanding of links between female hormones, inflammation and breast cancer, which could help prevent the disease.

5. Outsmarting advanced prostate cancer

Men diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer may soon benefit from an innovative treatment that blocks the PACE4 protein, a breakthrough attributed to the work of Dr Robert Day. He and his Université de Sherbrooke research team even discovered why their treatment shows such promise: it works because it blocks an abnormal version of PACE4, which is only found in cancerous cells. This abnormal PACE4 has also been found in other cancers, including lung cancer, suggesting that it would make a good therapeutic target for a number of hard-to-treat cancers.

Make a donation for research today to enable researchers to continue their work. You’re perhaps not behind the microscope, but your role is just as important. You fund innovation. You save lives.



Dr Connie Eaves Tracking how stem cells grow

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