Guelph scientist receives new research funds marking Lung Cancer Awareness Month
GUELPH, ON, Oct. 30, 2013 /CNW/ - An unconventional way of looking at a
long-known molecule has garnered a Guelph scientist new funding and
could lead to better treatment options for lung cancer, the Canadian
Cancer Society announced today in recognition of Lung Cancer Awareness
Month in November.
With a low survival rate of only 17%, lung cancer is the leading cause
of cancer death in Canada, taking the lives of more Canadians than
breast, prostate and colorectal cancers combined. Dr Roger Moorehead,
Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Guelph, has
been awarded $200,000 for new research looking at the role a molecule
called Akt plays in lung cancer.
Researchers have been interested in Akt and its role in cancer growth
for some time. In fact, a compound that inhibits this molecule is
currently being tested in clinical trials for lung cancer. While it's
known that there are a few different forms of the molecule, the
conventional view has been that all forms promote cancer growth.
However, Dr Moorehead and his team made an important discovery that
challenges this widely accepted view. His team discovered that the
forms of Akt are not the same and, in fact, one actually prevents
Dr Moorehead's team will study two different versions of the Akt
molecule in greater detail to further understand their effects. They
will also examine whether using a compound that inhibits only the
cancer-promoting form of Akt is a more effective treatment strategy for
lung cancer than targeting all forms.
"I'm grateful for the Canadian Cancer Society's funding because this
support allows us to explore an unconventional idea that very few are
examining," says Dr Moorehead. "Seeing opposing actions for different
forms of this molecule is not widely accepted. It is crucial that we
examine this view further, as it could improve treatment for lung
cancer and help save lives."
Including the new Innovation Grant, Dr Moorehead has received a total of
nearly $700,000 in research funding from the Society since 2009, and
the Society is pleased to continue supporting his research and
"We're committed to investing in innovative research that takes a bold
approach to cancer research, to help generate new ways to look at the
cancer puzzle and find more effective therapies for patients,
especially for hard-to-treat cancers such as lung cancer," says Dr Siân
Bevan, Director of Research, Canadian Cancer Society. "We couldn't make
this impact without the support of our donors and supporters."
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women.
In 2013, it is estimated:
20,200 will die from lung cancer.
9,200 will die from colorectal cancer
5,000 women will die from breast cancer
3,900 men will die from prostate cancer
Lung cancer deaths represent 27% of all cancer deaths in 2013.
5-year relative survival (estimates for 2006-08): Males 14%; Females
About the Innovation Grants
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 new grants worth more than
$7 million across the country were announced in August, with 18 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
About the Canadian Cancer Society
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, www.cancer.ca or
call toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333.
SOURCE: Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)
For further information:
Christine Koserski, Public Affairs, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division: 416-323-7030; firstname.lastname@example.org