Canadian Cancer Society grants new funding to improve virus-based cancer
OTTAWA, July 25, 2012 /CNW/ - Two Ottawa researchers are taking
innovative approaches to improving virus-based cancer therapy with new
funding from the Canadian Cancer Society.
Viruses that selectively target and kill cancer cells — called oncolytic
viruses — are an exciting new avenue for treating cancer because
healthy cells are spared and side effects are reduced. The problem is
that many tumors are able to protect themselves by unleashing defense
mechanisms that disarm these viruses.
Two researchers are each tackling this problem with creative approaches
that involve delivering the viruses in combination with new drugs to
make the treatments more effective than either would be alone.
Dr Jean-Simon Diallo of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the University of Ottawa
is receiving $200,000 to study the use of a specially engineered virus
given in combination with a novel type of drug to help the virus
overcome the tumor's defense mechanisms. Using a unique mathematical
model, he will use results from this newly funded research to predict
the success of other drug-virus combinations.
Dr Diallo's highly innovative research proposes a creative solution to
disarming tumors' defense mechanisms with novel drugs, while also
accelerating development of oncolytic viruses through mathematical
Dr Robert Korneluk of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario is receiving $200,000 to
study whether the defense mechanisms that tumors use to protect
themselves from viruses can be turned against them.
Dr Korneluk is studying a group of experimental drugs that are highly
effective in killing cancer cells, particularly in the presence of a
specific compound. This compound is produced both by the immune system
and by cancer cells and can result in actually protecting the tumour
cells from viruses. In Dr Korneluk's innovative project, he will test
whether, when given in combination with a cancer-killing virus, these
experimental drugs can effectively destroy cancer cells.
Dr Diallo and Dr Korneluk are two of 15 Ontario scientists to receive
new funding for unique and creative research, the Canadian Cancer
Society announced today.
"Ontario continues to produce innovative research that ranks among the
best in the world. We are proud to support these new projects because
they bring a unique perspective in our fight against cancer," says Mary
Argent-Katwala, Director, Research, Canadian Cancer Society. "We keenly
anticipate the impact that the research will have on the lives of all
A total of 28 grants representing a $5.4 million investment across the
country were announced today. 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 www.cancer.ca.
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization
of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the
enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When
you want to know more about cancer, visit our website http://www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.
SOURCE: Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)
For further information:
Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division
(416) 323-7030; email@example.com