Breast cancer: $8.1 M invested in Quebec research

Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation awards grants to research teams, thanks to Quebecers' generosity and support

MONTREAL, Nov. 15, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Thanks to numerous fundraising activities and the many partnerships formed in the last three years, the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation is able to announce that it will grant $8.1 million to several Quebec-based research teams. Foundation spokesperson Mitsou Gélinas and Quebec's minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Yves Bolduc, attended the announcement of the record investment, the Foundation's largest contribution to the scientific community in its history. In all, the organization has distributed more than $23 million in research grants over the past 23 years, making a substantial contribution to the fight against breast cancer.

The Foundation selected Quebec's most promising and innovative research products through a new round of its funding competition. The grants range from $100,000 to $300,000 annually, depending on the area of research, and were awarded for a period of three years. In all, 14 teams of researchers will receive the grants. Among other things, their research examines better treatment for patients, improved understanding of behaviours related to screening, and the identification of genetic changes that contribute to susceptibility to breast cancer. The Foundation is also funding three supplementary research projects in collaboration with the Cancer Research Society, for an additional investment of $240,000.

"We were extremely impressed with the quality of the proposals we received this year, to the point that we felt we had no choice but to exceed the original budget of $5 million," said Nathalie Le Prohon, chair of the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. "Thanks to research, great progress has been made in the last few decades. Cancer is often detected earlier and treatments are more accurately targeted, with fewer side effects. Breast cancer survival rates have also improved significantly. According to the latest data from Statistics Canada, 88% of women diagnosed with breast cancer survive for more than five years, as compared to 82% ten years ago." The Foundation also took the opportunity to announce a $1 million grant to the Database and Tissue Bank, one of the three research axes of the Quebec Cancer Research Network (Health), which allows the storage of biological samples in various forms for use by researchers over a span of several years.

Scientific peer review

As in 2008, when the Foundation granted more than $4 million to nine research teams, the funding competition relied on the expertise of the Cancer Research Society for a rigorous, objective scientific review process. "For many years, the Cancer Research Society has called upon specialists, researchers and physicians alike, to evaluate the grant applications it receives. Every application receives an in-depth review by two independent judges, and is then discussed by a panel of at least ten scientists with the appropriate expertise. The Society used the same peer review process to help the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation select the research teams that will receive this year's $8 million investment in Quebec breast cancer research. The quality of the grant applications was a testament to Quebec researchers' excellence in this field," said Mario Chevrette, chair of the board of the CRS.

"We are pleased to be able to count on partners who share our priorities in the fight against cancer. Thanks to the major contribution to research announced today, women with breast cancer and their families can hope for new preventative measures, new treatments and new medications. That is why I want to thank, on behalf of all Quebec women, the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation, the researchers who will work on the projects selected, and the Cancer Research Society for their contribution to the improvement of our community's health," said the Minister of Health and Social Services.

About the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation:
A registered charity, the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation's mission is to fund breast cancer research, promote breast health through education and awareness, and facilitate support for people touched by breast cancer. Visit www.rubanrose.org for more information.

About the Cancer Research Society:
Founded in 1945, the Cancer Research Society (CRS) is a national not-for-profit organization whose sole mission is to fund cancer research exclusively and to offer seed money to the most promising original ideas, projects and researchers across Canada. Over the past 20 years it has awarded more than $100 million in research funding to some 900 cancer research projects across Canada, including more than $35 million in the last five years. For more information, visit www.src-crs.ca

SOURCE QUEBEC BREAST CANCER FOUNDATION

For further information:

Source: Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation

Information:
Rosalie Lemelin
Morin Relations Publiques
514-289-8688, ext. 231
Cell.: 514-237-8317
rosalie@morinrp.com

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