Scientist in lab looking into microscope.
Researchers gain new understanding of how immunotherapy works

Immunotherapy is a promising form of cancer treatment that uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer. Some immunotherapies are already available for specific groups of patients, but at the same time, researchers are still working on understanding the precise biological processes that these treatments use to fight cancer.

Cells from the stomach lining.
How common bacteria can lead to stomach cancer

Researchers know that one species of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (or H. pylori) is a major cause of stomach cancer worldwide. Not everyone who is infected with H. pylori develops stomach cancer, but it is a common infection, especially in developing parts of the world, and results in many cases of the disease.

Your trusted source for the most up-to-date cancer statistics in Canada

For more than 30 years, the Canadian Cancer Statistics publication has provided comprehensive, up-to-date cancer statistics for Canada. Developed collaboratively by the Canadian Cancer Society, Public Health Agency of Canada, Statistics Canada and provincial and territorial cancer registries, the 2017 edition was released on June 20.

zoomed-in view of the body’s blood vessels
Detecting cancer early in the blood

Watch video

animation of a CAR-T cell interacting with a target protein on a cancer cell
How CAR-T cells work to fight cancer

Watch video

cartoon of cancer stem cell resisting treatment
The challenges behind the fight against cancer

Watch video

New directions in cancer prevention research

Often, people think cancer research is about developing new treatments. But finding ways to prevent cancer is also important. More than 200,000 Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year, and this number will keep increasing as our population grows and ages, placing a significant burden on the health care system.

Can we detect esophageal cancer years before symptoms appear?

There are no existing tests that can predict esophageal cancer in people with Barrett’s esophagus, a condition that affects the cells lining the esophagus and can lead to cancer in some people. Researchers from the University of Cambridge have identified patterns of gene mutations that can predict cancer years before symptoms appear. These findings can help doctors diagnose and treat esophageal cancer earlier. Learn more in an article from Medical Xpress.

Changing a tumour's surroundings to stop its spread

The growth and spread of a tumour can depend on the proteins found in its surroundings. Researchers have identified a key protein that plays an important role in allowing pancreatic cancer to spread to other organs and preventing the immune system from attacking the tumour. Blocking this protein could potentially be an effective therapeutic approach for people with pancreatic cancer. Learn more in an article from the University of Pennsylvania.

New cancer genes spotted by advanced computer tool

Pinpointing cancer-causing genes can be difficult. Some tumours may contain both healthy and cancerous cells and some mutations are not harmful. A new computer tool has the power to identify cancerous cells and the harmful genetic mutations they contain, revealing 27 new genes involved in tumour formation. Learn more in an article from the Francis Crick Institute.

Exposure to fires and potentially cancer, too

Firefighters are not only exposed to dangerous fires, but they could be exposed to cancer-causing toxins too. Ottawa researchers found up to 60 times greater levels of toxins in the firefighters’ skin after a fire, which could have damaging effects on their genes. This work emphasizes the need for effective ways to reduce firefighters’ exposure to these toxins. Learn more in an article from the National Post.

The new workplace carcinogen: carbon nanotubes

People with mesothelioma, a cancer of the outer linings of organs, may be exposed to years of cancer-causing substances (carcinogens) before they are diagnosed. New research suggests tiny carbon nanotubes may have the same cancer-causing effects as asbestos, a known workplace carcinogen, after long-term exposure. Understanding how carbon nanotubes may cause cancer from the start can help advance cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Learn more in an article from the Medical Research…