Preventing lung and breast cancers in women among 45 new research projects in Ontario announced by the Canadian Cancer Society



    Ontario researchers awarded more than $22 million

    TORONTO, May 6 /CNW/ - Cancer prevention research funding totaling more
than $800,000 was awarded to three Ontario researchers through a new
innovative initiative to improve cancer prevention and reduce the burden of
cancer in Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society announced today.
    "This new investment in cancer prevention research is exciting because it
supports exploration into tangible ways we can reduce our risk of cancer,"
says Sylvia Leonard, Vice-President, Community Engagement, Ontario Provincial
Office, Canadian Cancer Society. "Funding research is critical to our mission
to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with
cancer. We are grateful to our generous Ontario donors and volunteers for
making this research possible."
    The three Ontario recipients of these prevention research grants are
among only six awarded across the country. They are also among 45 new
discovery research grants awarded to Ontario researchers by the Canadian
Cancer Society.
    In total more than $22 million in new research funding was awarded to
researchers in this province, a significant investment that reflects the high
caliber of research that takes place in Ontario.
    The prevention initiative grants were awarded to researchers in Toronto
and London:

    Dr Michelle Cotterchio, Toronto
    -------------------------------
    Dr Cotterchio will receive $157,550 over two years to examine the links
between the consumption of phytoestrogen-rich foods and women with breast
cancers that are receptive to estrogen and progesterone hormones to see if any
preventive dietary effects are found. Eating foods rich in "phytoestrogens,"
such as soy, flaxseed, fruits and vegetables may reduce a woman's breast
cancer risk - but perhaps only some kinds of breast cancer and only for some
women.

    Dr Pamela Goodwin, Toronto
    --------------------------
    Dr Goodwin will receive $269,380 over two years to look at whether women
deficient in vitamin D had poorer results when given the breast cancer
prevention drug tamoxifen. Dr Goodwin will use information already collected
from a large study of women at high risk for breast cancer to analyze their
levels of vitamin D and link this to their risk for developing breast cancer.

    Dr Harry Prapavessis, London
    ----------------------------
    Dr Prapavessis will receive $407,000 over three years to test whether or
not women who continue with a low-cost home and community-based exercise
program after a more intense program has ended have better chances of staying
smoke-free and avoiding weight gain. More than 85% of lung cancers are related
to tobacco use. More Canadians die of lung cancer than of breast, prostate and
colon cancer combined. Research that aims to help reduce smoking rates will
have a significant impact on the overall burden of lung cancer.
    In all, 45 grants were awarded to outstanding, top-ranking researchers in
Ontario for their promising studies in a wide variety of cancer research
projects. The grants to Ontario researchers were selected after a rigorous
national application and review process.
    New grants announced today represent a broad range of research funded by
the Canadian Cancer Society - from prevention studies to genetics, biology,
immunology, psychosocial issues to palliative care.

    Other Ontario grants announced today include:

    Dr Kristin Baetz, Ottawa
    ------------------------
    Dr Baetz will receive $689,725 over five years to continue her team's
research on a group of enzymes called NuA4, which may have a specific role in
cancer development. Defects in this enzyme contribute to the imperfect copying
of chromosomes, which is a hallmark of cancer cells. With this new funding Dr
Baetz will be able to uncover more detail about NuA4 and look to develop
future targets for cancer treatment.

    Dr Brenda Coomber, Guelph
    -------------------------
    Dr Coomber will receive $481,760 over four years to continue her research
on blood vessel growth and cancer. Some cancer therapies work by preventing
the development of blood vessels which feed tumours, thus starving them of
nutrients and oxygen. Dr Coomber is examining whether using this therapy to
reduce the amount of available oxygen can actually cause genetic changes that
may promote the growth of the tumour cells, thus compromising the
effectiveness of the treatment.

    Dr Ronald Barr, Hamilton
    ------------------------
    Dr Ronald Barr will receive $47,423 to look at data from children treated
for acute lymphoblastic leukemia to see how their survival and quality of life
were affected and whether any differences could be accorded to the children's
age at treatment or which one of four different treatments each child
received.

    Dr Andrew Craig, Kingston
    -------------------------
    Dr Craig will receive $382,500 over three years to contribute to
knowledge that could lead to new and more effective ways of treating lung
cancer. To do this, he will look at the molecular and cellular processes
involved in destroying epidermal growth factor receptor, which is directly
implicated in lung cancer.

    Dr Trevor Shepherd, London
    --------------------------
    Dr. Shepherd will receive $380,850 over three years to lay the foundation
for early detection of ovarian cancer, which has one of the highest death
rates for women because it is so difficult to catch at an early stage. Dr
Shepherd will study how a group of proteins produced by ovarian cancer cells,
called BMPs, and two particular genes help to aid and abet the development and
growth of ovarian cancer.
    The Canadian Cancer Society is the largest national charitable funder of
cancer research in Canada. In total, the Canadian Cancer Society today
announced 71 new grants across the country.
    For a complete list of the new Canadian Cancer Society-funded research
grants across the country, visit www.cancer.ca.

    About the Prevention Initiative

    The Canadian Cancer Society believes that at least 50% of cancers can be
prevented.
    This year, the Society awarded the first set of research grants within a
special Cancer Prevention Initiative. The projects will advance the field of
cancer prevention research by identifying interventions against modifiable
risk factors and conditions. These include behaviours, biological factors,
occupational exposures or environmental conditions that may be changed to
reduce the risk of developing cancer.
    The Canadian Cancer Society will invest approximately $3 million a year
in this new initiative.

    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. Last year, the Society
provided more than $49.5 million in funding for leading-edge research across
the country. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website at
www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1
888-939-3333.





For further information:

For further information: Christine Koserski, Media Relations, Ontario
Provincial Office, Canadian Cancer Society: (416) 323-7030,
ckoserski@ontario.cancer.ca


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