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BC Cancer scientists win 4 of 7 Canadian Cancer Society Research Impact grants

​Canadian Cancer Society Research Impact (CCSRI) Grants are designed to accelerate knowledge from science into outcomes for patients, including improved cancer treatments and reduced cancer burden.
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They have been created to support large, well-developed programs in cancer research that have the potential to make a significant impact on the burden of disease in patients and populations.

Congratulations to the BC Cancer laboratories and research teams led by Drs. David Huntsman, Samuel Aparicio, Sohrab Shah and Torsten Neilsen for receiving four of the available seven 2018 CCSRI Grants! 

Learn more about their associated research projects below and about the CCSRI program here

David Huntsman — Molecular pathogenesis of clear cell carcinoma of the ovary: towards better prevention and management strategies

Clear cell carcinoma, the second most common type of ovarian cancer, is poorly understood and there are no effective treatments for advanced disease. Improved understanding of this disease is critical to developing effective diagnosis, treatment and prevention strategies. Dr. David Huntsman, a leading expert in ovarian cancer, and his team will use a variety of cellular and molecular techniques to examine the biology and behaviour of this disease. By understanding how this cancer starts and grows, and where there may be opportunities to stop it, the researchers plan to help shape clinical practice.

Samuel Aparicio — Decoding the clonal dynamics and evolution in breast cancers at single cell resolution: improving diagnostics and expanding treatment approaches

Cancers can be made up of cells with different characteristics that affect how likely they are to become resistant to treatment. These characteristics may even change over time, making diseases like triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) hard to treat. Dr. Samuel Aparicio and his team will use advanced techniques to study the genetic and molecular features of single tumour cells from people with TNBC, then predict how they will respond to different combinations of treatments. This research could help guide targeted treatment and diagnostic strategies for many hard-to-treat cancers.

Sohrab Shah — The determinants of drug response in high grade serous ovarian cancer: a single cell population genetics approach

Many ovarian cancers respond to chemotherapy, but some subtypes are resistant and the cancer often comes back. The molecular reason for why this occurs is unknown, and new and effective treatments are needed. Dr. Sohrab Shah and his team will study the molecular processes and genetics that underlie why individual ovarian cancer cells are susceptible or resistant to standard and experimental treatments. They will also design a new diagnostic test that can match a woman’s specific ovarian cancer subtype to an effective treatment, paving the way for precision medicine in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Torsten Neilsen — Adolescent and young adult sarcomas: translating basic science into clinical care

Sarcomas are a group of over 50 types of cancer affecting the connective tissues of the body, especially in the limbs. Sarcomas most often affect adolescents and young adults, are particularly difficult to diagnose and treat, and have a relatively high mortality rate. Dr. Torsten Nielsen and his team will address these issues by studying the DNA structure in sarcoma cells, by creating new animal models of sarcoma and by developing an improved diagnostic test. With this project, the team is poised to bring novel diagnostic and treatment strategies into clinical trials.

SOURCE: BC Cancer scientists win 4 of 7 Canadian Cancer Society Research Impact grants ( )
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