SickKids receives funding for brain cancer research on World Cancer Day
By Shahmyna Kassam
In celebration of World Cancer Day, the Honorable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, announced funding for over 80 new cancer research projects across Canada; two of which are for researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Drs. Uri Tabori and Michael Taylor. The announcement was made at the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning at SickKids.
“This research will improve overall scientific knowledge and advance our understanding of cancer, with a special emphasis on childhood cancer,” says Minister Ambrose. “It will improve patient care and cancer treatment and reduce the burden on families and our health systems.”
The funding, totalling over $60 million, is thanks to investments made by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and partnerships between Brain Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society. These new projects aim to advance our understanding of cancer through improved prevention strategies, early detection and monitoring, with the hope of strengthened care and treatment.
Approximately 191,300 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer each year, including nearly 200 children that are diagnosed with a brain or spinal cord tumour. Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer death in children under the age of 20.
Research led by Dr. Uri Tabori, Senior Scientist and Oncologist at SickKids, focusing on preventing relapse of by targeting the cancer cells’ ability to self-renew. Dr. Michael Taylor, Senior Scientist and Neurosurgeon at SickKids is studying a large number of samples of medulloblastoma, a common form of brain tumour, with the goal of developing more tailored treatments for these children.
“The tagline for this year’s World Cancer Day is Not Beyond Us. This means that anything is possible when it comes to preventing cancer and improving the health outcomes of those who have cancer around the world. None of this research and its application to treating patients would be possible without the partnerships and support of our government and funding agencies,” says Dr. Janet Rossant, Chief of Research at SickKids.