Hamilton researcher takes on hard-to-treat cancers with new funding from Canadian Cancer Society

HAMILTON, ON, Feb. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - Dr Sheila Singh, a Hamilton researcher taking an innovative approach to investigating how cancer spreads to the brain, is one of 10 scientists receiving new funding in Ontario, the Canadian Cancer Society announced today.

"When cancer spreads to the brain, the results can be devastating to a patient. This funding will help us gain a better understanding of how cancer spreads and may lead to ways to prevent this from happening," says Dr Singh, a pediatric neurosurgeon and associate professor at McMaster University.

A number of types of cancer, including lung cancer, may spread to the brain, but this process is not well understood.

Dr Singh and her team have developed new tools to study this problem and will use this funding to study the cells that may be involved in cancer spread and whether these cells can be targeted with drugs to prevent them from spreading.

This research is important because, while Dr. Singh's team is specifically studying lung tumours that spread to the brain, there is potential that this research could be applied to a number of different cancers.

Dr Singh's creative approach to examining this understudied area of cancer research landed her top scores in the Society's first Innovation Grants competition.

"We are funding unique and creative research projects to stimulate new approaches in cancer research, the kind that have the potential to turn cancer on its head," says Rosemary Cabral, Hamilton-Wentworth Unit President. "In this way and with the support of our donors and volunteers, we lead the way in the fight against cancer."

The Society's new 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.

Dr Singh is receiving $200,000 over two years for this research. Since 2008, researchers at McMaster University have been awarded more than $3.1 million in Society funding.

A total of 23 grants representing a $4.5 million investment were announced today across the country. 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 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:

or to arrange an interview:
Christine Koserski
Public Affairs
Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division
(416) 323-7030; ckoserski@ontario.cancer.ca

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Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)

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