VANCOUVER, Oct. 9, 2013 /CNW/ - Three exemplary Canadian cancer research
teams are receiving $13.6 million from The Terry Fox Foundation to
conduct cutting-edge research in several areas where there are unmet
cancer needs, it was announced today by The Terry Fox Research
Institute and partners.
In Ontario, scientists are applying new techniques using lasers and
nanotechnologies to improve imaging and treatments for early-stage
prostate and esophogeal cancers. In British Columbia, researchers are
searching for new treatments for lymphoid cancer and rare and unusual
The Terry Fox Foundation funds are raised annually by school children
and supporters from coast to coast who participate in or donate to the
Terry Fox Run and National School Run Day.
"For over three decades, the Terry Fox Foundation has been funding
research into 'new frontiers' science to ensure that fundamental
questions in cancer research are probed and addressed," said Dr. Victor
Ling, president and scientific director of The Terry Fox Research
Institute. "Without these investigations, we would lack the knowledge
and technology we have today of this complex disease. This kind of
research is critical to the creation of innovative solutions within our
cancer care clinics worldwide. It takes excellent scientists like those
we are funding today to push forward with cutting-edge research."
"We are proud of the legacy that has been built over the past three
decades by Terry Fox supporters to fund excellence in team science
which tackles major problems and issues in cancer research. This
important work would not be possible without the generosity of the
millions of Canadians who keep Terry's dream alive today," said Judith
Fox-Alder, younger sister of Canadian hero Terry Fox, for whom the
Foundation and Institute are named.
Dr. David Huntsman's team, at the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver, BC, is
studying rare cancers - sarcomas and uterine/ovarian cancers with the
aim to unlocking their genetic mutations, so that those, and eventually
more common cancers, will be treated more successfully. "Rare tumours
offer some real advantages because they tend to be more homogeneous
[similar in structure], so it's easier to find what mutation is
actually causing that cancer," said Dr. Huntsman, a pathologist and
medical director at the Centre for Translational and Applied Genomics.
"These cancers can also be keys to unlocking biology which is important
for other more common cancers."
Two emerging technologies being developed by Dr. Brian Wilson's team,
based at the University Health Network in Toronto, Ontario, may be able
to work together to address unmet needs in cancer control. The first
technology is a new technique called photoacoustic imaging which
combines light and sound to make high-resolution images of tumours that
can be targeted for treatment. The second technology uses their newly
discovered nanoparticles to act as contrasting agents for the
photoacoustic imaging. His team will apply this innovative approach to
early-stage prostate and esophogeal cancers. "The combination of these
two techniques is what makes this a unique opportunity," said Dr.
Wilson, a senior scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
"This funding is being used to accelerate this technology platform into