Photodynamic Therapy a Bright Reality in Cancer Treatment

    Physician-Researcher and Photochemist share $100,000 EnCana Principal
    Award from Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation

    CALGARY, Sept. 25 /CNW/ - Drs. James Kennedy and Roy Pottier have won the
$100,000 EnCana Principal Award from the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation
for their pioneering work on photodynamic therapy.
    The innovators' discovery that 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) could be used
in conjunction with light therapy to treat pre-cancerous and other skin
conditions led to the development of Levulan(R) Photodynamic Therapy (PDT).
Levulan(R) PDT has been used to successfully treat over 300,000 cases of the
pre-cancerous skin condition, actinic keratosis. The therapy can also be used
to treat acne, and is being investigated for use with various other skin
conditions, cancers and infections.
    ALA is a natural compound that the body uses in building blood. Cells can
convert ALA into another compound that, upon light exposure, damages or kills
the cells. The process is especially effective against cancer cells.
    The researchers teamed up in 1979 in Kingston, Ontario, where Pottier was
a professor with the Royal Military College of Canada and Kennedy was a
practising physician and professor with Queen's University. Though recently
retired, both are excited about the therapy's potential applications.
    Receiving the Manning Principal Award is a fulfilling way to finish a
career, noted Dr. Pottier. "(We're) in good company now," he said.

    The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation

    This year the Foundation will award $165,000 in prize money. Four awards
totalling $145,000 will go to leading Canadian innovators. Another $20,000
will go to Young Canadians chosen at the 2007 Canada-Wide Science Fair.
    The Foundation was established in 1980 in the name of Alberta statesman,
Ernest C. Manning, to promote and support Canadian innovation. Since 1982, the
Foundation has presented $3.76 million in prize money through its annual
awards program.
    The 2007 awards will be presented at an awards gala on September 28th in
Toronto, Ontario.

    -   A Media Backgrounder about the innovators and their work is available
        on the Foundation's website:

For further information:

For further information: on the Foundation, contact Bruce Fenwick,
Executive Director, (403) 645-8288 or Nina C. Pudwell, Communications
Coordinator, at (403) 645-3006 or; For more
information about Levulan(R) PDT, visit, or contact the
award winners: Dr. James Kennedy can be reached at (613) 389-3000 or; Dr. Roy Pottier can be reached at (506) 488-3201 or

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