$60M for a national network to study innovative cancer treatments

Posted on Monday, December 15, 2014

Today, the Government of Canada announced that it will invest $25M to create the first Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE) devoted to cancer research. The network will also benefit from an additional $35M from other partners and will be known as Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment (BioCanRX), headed by Dr. John Bell, a senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and professor at the University of Ottawa.

"Biotherapeutics hold great promise because they have the potential to completely eliminate even advanced cancers with far fewer side effects than many of our current treatments. That in itself is very exciting," said Dr. Bell, who will serve as the new NCE's scientific director.

"But what is really unique about this funding is that it allows a fantastic team of Canadian scientists to work together to develop several therapeutic strategies in parallel, and then test these, both alone and in combination, with the goal of finding the most effective way to help our body's own defences fight cancer. In this case, the whole really is greater than sum of its parts,” added Dr. Bell.

The BioCanRx network will focus on promising biotherapeutics, such as oncolytic viruses, immune cells and synthetic antibodies.

For more information, please refer to the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) press release.

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