QEII Foundation Announces Funding for Cancer Research

HALIFAX, Dec. 7 /CNW/ - The QEII Foundation today announced $200,000 in new funding to be directed towards the ground-breaking Atlantic Path cancer research project currently underway across the region studying genetic, lifestyle and environmental contributors to cancer. The funds are a welcome boost for a project that promises to impact the health of Atlantic Canadians for generations to come.

"This is a terrific project to be supporting," said Sherry Porter, chair of the QEII Foundation's volunteer board of trustees. "The QEII Health Sciences Centre is a major cancer diagnostic and treatment centre, and patients arrive every day for life saving surgeries and treatments. It's only natural for us to be involved in the largest cancer research project the region has ever seen."

Dr. Louise Parker, whom the QEII Foundation announced in 2007 as the inaugural Canadian Cancer Society Nova Scotia Division Chair in Population Cancer Research, is the principal investigator in the Atlantic Path project. She sees the data gathering currently underway as an initiative that will pay dividends for future Atlantic Canadians. "This is for the health of our children and grandchildren," she said. "It's taking an in depth look at a lot of things we've never really considered before as determinants of population cancer." One such possible determinant, the arsenic that naturally occurs in some well water, is being looked at in a sub-study of Path via study participants' toenail clippings.

"In Nova Scotia, about 45% of us get our drinking water from wells," said Dr. Parker. "We need to know the effect that arsenic and other heavy metals is having on our cancer rates." Atlantic Canadians have amongst the country's highest rates in many types of cancer, and Dr. Parker hopes the Atlantic Path project will help shed some light on why, and what we can do to change that. First, she needs as many study participants aged 35 - 69 as possible. To find out more about the Atlantic Path project, visit their website at www.atlanticpath.ca or call 494-7284 in the Halifax area and 1-877-285-7284 toll-free from outside Halifax.

About the QEII Foundation

The QEII Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization established to strengthen health care at the QEII. The Foundation's mission is leading the spirit of philanthropy to enrich health care for Atlantic Canadians and in the process helps support the QEII's quest to become a world-leading haven for health, healing and learning. The QEII Foundation raises funds to support excellence in patient care through the purchase of state-of-the-art patient technology, promotion of professional education, advancement of medical research, and involvement with community-based disease prevention initiatives.

SOURCE QEII Foundation

For further information: For further information: Steve Jennex, QEII Foundation, (902) 473-5591

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