Ottawa scientists bulking up cancer research with support from Canadian Cancer Society

Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Two researchers from the University of Ottawa and one from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) are  exploring better ways to treat pancreatic and breast cancer, and improve the quality of life of breast and gynecological cancer patients after treatment, with the support of the Canadian Cancer Society.

Three grants totalling $1.7 million were awarded to the researchers as part of a national announcement made today in Ottawa by Dr. Martin Kabat, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division.

John Bell, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Impact Grant

Dr John Bell, University of Ottawa professor and senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute will tailor the use of cancer-fighting viruses for pancreatic cancer, a hard-to-treat cancer that has a low survival rate. A world leader in oncolytic viruses, Dr Bell's work has the potential to result in a highly targeted therapy for pancreatic cancer which could result in fewer side effects than current standard treatments.

Sophie Lebel, School of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences
Quality of Life Grant
Professor Lebel along with co-investigator Christine Maheu, assistant professor at the Ingram School of Nursing at McGill University will test whether group therapy will help address the fear of recurrence in women diagnosed with breast or gynecological cancers.

Andrew Makrigiannis,  Department Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine
Innovation Grant
Professor Makrigiannis will study whether the immune system has a role in breast cancer development. This research will be conducted over the next two years and has the potential to lead to new ways of determining the prognosis of patients with breast cancer and could lead to new treatment options based on boosting the immune system.

Read the Canadian Cancer Society's release for further details on these research projects.

The University of Ottawa is committed to research excellence and encourages an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge creation, which attracts the best academic talent from across Canada and around the world. The University is an important stakeholder in the National Capital Region's economic development, with a total regional economic impact estimated at $4 billion annually.

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Kina Leclair
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University of Ottawa
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