Canadian Cancer Society backs Alberta lymphoma researcher

    CALGARY, May 6 /CNW/ - Today the Canadian Cancer Society is awarding a
three-year grant to an Edmonton-based researcher who is investigating an
aggressive form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
    Dr. Raymond Lai, a professor at the University of Alberta, is researching
mantle cell lymphoma, which is often resistant to chemotherapy and presents
its own particular set of challenges.
    "Although mantle cell lymphoma is a relatively uncommon disease, its
tendency of showing resistance to conventional chemotherapy often poses a
major obstacle," says Dr. Lai. "Fortunately, recent research has shed
important insights into the biological basis of this disease, and we are in an
excellent position to design new treatment approaches. With the support from
the Canadian Cancer Society, our research team will have the opportunity to
test a number of novel agents to treat mantle cell lymphoma. I am optimistic
that our efforts will improve the clinical outcome of these patients in the
very near future."
    The Canadian Cancer Society has awarded Dr. Lai more than $300,000 over a
three-year span to continue his research. Mantle cell lymphoma is a difficult
cancer to treat - in part, because it has different kinds of cells that
require several different drugs or therapies to treat it effectively. Mantle
cell lymphoma most frequently strikes men and older individuals. It's
estimated that 7,200 Canadians will be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
this year.
    Dr. Lai was selected for a grant after a thorough national review
process. The Edmonton-based researcher received one of 71 new grants awarded
across Canada by the Canadian Cancer Society this year. A total of 14 cancer
researchers are currently being funded by the Society in Alberta.
    Last year, the Canadian Cancer Society invested more than $49.5 million
in cancer research throughout the country. For a complete list of the new
Canadian Cancer Society-funded grants, please visit
    Fast Facts about Lymphoma
    -  There are two primary types of lymphoma: Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's
    -  Mantle cell lymphoma is an aggressive type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma;
       there are approximately 30 types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
    -  Mantle cell lymphoma often goes undetected until later stages meaning
       it has the poorest prognosis of all lymphomas

    About the Canadian Cancer Society

    The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of
volunteers and staff whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the
enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. To learn more
about cancer, visit our website at or call our toll-free, bilingual
Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Deanna Kraus, (403) 541-5375, Media Relations Specialist, Canadian Cancer
Society, Alberta/NWT Division,

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Canadian Cancer Society (Alberta/NWT Division)

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