VANCOUVER, Nov. 2, 2011 /CNW/ - Cancer patients across Canada will
benefit from a multi-million dollar investment by The Terry Fox
Foundation that will support new and breakthrough research undertaken
by leading scientists and clinicians at health and research centres and
institutions in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.
"Today The Terry Fox Foundation is providing a total of $12.7 million
for three significant research programs led by the nation's top cancer
scientists. We are confident their work will open doors to new
discoveries that advance our understanding of this disease and enable
new and innovative ways to diagnose and treat cancer in its many
forms," says Dr. Victor Ling, President and Scientific Director of the
Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI). "We appreciate the work of the
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in overseeing the peer
review for this very prestigious competition. These grants provide
substantial funding to enable scientists to explore fundamental and
complex areas of cancer research which are critical to our
understanding and management of cancer."
"I applaud The Terry Fox Foundation for its commitment to supporting
research that aims to make breakthroughs in the fight against cancer,"
said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's Minister of Health. "The
Government of Canada is pleased to have been able to help in the
process of selecting these outstanding research teams for funding.
Their work, and the funds invested by The Terry Fox Foundation, will
contribute to improved health for all Canadians."
"Terry believed in the importance of cancer research. Our investment
ensures that the best and brightest research teams will be able to move
his vision forward with new discoveries that will make a difference for
cancer patients everywhere," says Mr. Brett Kohli, National Director,
The Terry Fox Foundation. "We are extremely grateful to the millions of
Canadians, young and old, who believe in Terry's vision and support
this important and complex research through our annual school and
community Terry Fox runs."
Nearly one-half of the funds to be invested via the 2011 New Frontiers Program Project Grants at CIHR competition will support new research into advanced prostate cancer at
the Vancouver Coastal Health's Vancouver Prostate Centre. The lead
investigator of the Terry Fox New Frontiers Program on Prostate Cancer
Progression is Dr. Martin Gleave, executive director of the Vancouver
Prostate Centre and lead investigator. With five-year funding of over
$6M, Dr. Gleave and a team of 20 co-investigators will delve deeper
into understanding why patients with advanced cancer become resistant
to hormone therapy. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed
cancer, and a leading cause of cancer-related death of men.
"Our research defines changes in gene and cell function that enables
prostate cancer cells to become resistant to hormone therapy," says Dr.
Gleave, distinguished professor in the Department of Urologic Sciences
at UBC and holder of the Liber Ero BC Leadership Chair in Prostate
Cancer Research. "After identifying these changes, we then use this
information to develop new therapies to delay disease progression. Our
long-standing Terry Fox program serves as a major catalyst for
translational research that has already enabled us to bring several new
therapies from bench-to-bedside."
At The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Ontario, Dr.
Sean Egan, senior scientist in the Developmental & Stem Cell Biology
Program, and associate professor in the Department of Molecular
Genetics at the University of Toronto, heads an investigative team that
will receive $2.8M over three years to find the "Achilles' heel"
responsible for tumour metastases of the breast and brain. "Recent
cancer DNA sequencing efforts have shown that cancer-associated
mutations can be quite different between primary tumours and their
metastases, which have spread throughout the body. This is particularly
true in some forms of brain and breast cancer," says Dr. Egan. "These
differences pose serious challenges, impeding efforts to identify
therapy for advanced metastatic tumours. Our group, which aims to
address tumour heterogeneity through the identification of
subgroup-specific "shared maintenance genes," will use these funds from
The Terry Fox Foundation to identify critical targets to treat the
primary tumours and their malignant descendants."
In Montreal, Quebec, at the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research
Centre, Dr. Michel Tremblay, professor, Departments of Biochemistry and
Oncology and Centre director, will lead a team of investigators over
the next three years to study molecular linkages between other diseases
and cancer. "The scientific and medical communities have long known
that the intricate molecular control in obesity, diabetes and
cardiovascular diseases are linked to cancer. Yet this remains
uncharted territory and much work needs to be done to understand these
links. The New Frontiers oncometabolism team grant is an outstanding opportunity to work at
understanding this interrelation and to develop novel strategies to
tackle cancer management," says Dr. Tremblay. His team will receive a
total of $3.8M over three years
The New Frontiers Program Project Grants is the flagship program of The Terry Fox Foundation's investment
portfolio, funding team science and research excellence for nearly
three decades. TFRI and CIHR formed a joint partnership in 2010 to
oversee the delivery of the program.
The Terry Fox Foundation will be investing approximately $16 million in
2011-2012 for cure-oriented, biomedical discovery research and another
$10 million for translational research through TFRI. The funds are
raised by Canadians who participate each year in Terry Fox Runs and the
National School Run Day across the country in honour of Terry Fox's
Marathon of Hope.
The Terry Fox Foundation maintains the vision and principles of Terry
Fox while raising money for cancer research through the annual Terry
Fox Run, National School Run Day and other fundraising initiatives. To
date, over $550 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research
in Terry Fox's name. The first Terry Fox Run was held in 1981, with The
Terry Fox Foundation being created in 1988. Its national headquarters
are located in Chilliwack, BC and it has offices in 9 provinces. www.terryfox.org.
For the past 11 years, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
has supported better health and healthcare for Canadians. As the
Government of Canada's health research investment agency, CIHR enables
the creation of evidence-based knowledge and its transformation into
improved treatments, prevention and diagnoses, new products and
services, and a stronger, patient-oriented healthcare system. Composed
of 13 internationally-recognized institutes, CIHR supports more than
13,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada.
Launched in October 2007, The Terry Fox Research Institute is the
brainchild of The Terry Fox Foundation and today functions as its
research arm. TFRI seeks to improve significantly the outcomes of
cancer research for the patient through a highly collaborative,
team-oriented, milestone-based approach to research that will enable
discoveries to translate quickly into practical solutions for cancer
patients worldwide. TFRI collaborates with over 50 cancer hospitals and
research organizations across Canada. TFRI headquarters are in
Vancouver, BC. www.tfri.ca
SOURCE Terry Fox Research Institute
For further information:
The Terry Fox Research Institute
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Vancouver Prostate Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health
604-875-4111, extension 61777
Université McGill | McGill University
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)
416-813-7654 ext. 2059