London scientist awarded Canadian Cancer Society Innovation Grant
LONDON, ON, March 19, 2013 /CNW/ - A multi-disciplinary team of
researchers led by scientists in London and Toronto is developing a
simple tool that could one day make it easier to choose the best
available cancer treatments for individual patients and improve their
chances for survival.
Dr David Litchfield, Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Western
University, and a team that includes leaders in biological and physical
sciences, as well as clinicians in the Division of Hematology at London
Health Sciences Centre, are developing a specialized tool — a small
gold-plated chip layered with sensors — that will be able to detect the
activity of cell molecules called protein kinases that are often
involved in cancer growth.
With a new $200,000 Innovation Grant, Dr Litchfield and his team are
aiming to further develop this highly innovative technology so that
numerous protein kinases can be monitored at the same time. The team,
co-led by University of Toronto (Scarborough) chemistry professor Dr
Bernie Kraatz, will also test the tool in cell lines and blood samples
from leukemia patients. This information will help the team determine
which protein kinases are involved in a patient's cancer growth.
If successful, doctors will be able to use the tool to learn more about
a patient's tumour, so they can select the best available treatment for
the patient based on the tumour's characteristics.
"I applaud the Canadian Cancer Society for funding innovation that
supports creativity and enables us to bring together talents from
diverse disciplines to take a highly collaborative approach to solving
the puzzle of cancer growth," says Dr Litchfield.
The Society has long supported Dr Litchfield's work. Including the new
grant, he has received $2.4 million in funding from the Society since
1994 to support research and the training of many research personnel.
"We are proud to support innovative research that stimulates new
approaches to cancer research, such as this project that could help
doctors provide the best available treatments to patients," says Luba
Slatkovska, Senior Manager, Research, Ontario Division. "We couldn't
make this impact without the support of our donors and supporters."
The Society's Innovation Grants were developed to support innovative and
creative problem-solving in cancer research. The goal is to support
unconventional concepts, approaches or methodologies to address
problems in cancer research.
A total of 37 grants representing a $7.2 million investment across the
country were announced today, with 20 in Ontario alone. The Canadian
Cancer Society is the largest national charitable funder of cancer
research in Canada. For more information about the Society's research
funding, visit cancer.ca
For 75 years, the Canadian Cancer Society has been with Canadians in the
fight for life. We have been relentless in our commitment to prevent
cancer, fund research and support Canadians touched by cancer. From
this foundation, we will work with Canadians to change cancer forever
so fewer Canadians are diagnosed with the disease and more survive.
When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website at cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at
1-888-939-3333 (TTY: 1-866-786-3934).
SOURCE: Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)
For further information:
Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division