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$12M to support oncology research projects in Quebec

Published on June 6, 2018

The Oncopole announced, as part of its first EMC2 competition, an investment of close to $12M to support seven oncology projects in Quebec. This investment was made possible thanks to an unprecedented collaboration with leading funders, notably the Cancer Research Society, the CQDM and IRICoR. Together, the partners managed to double the Oncopole’s initial budget, an initiative supported by Merck.

Seven projects benefiting from substantial support

Following a competitive process and a thorough assessment of the 36 applications by an independent international peer review committee, seven projects were selected for funding. The teams made up of 61 investigators from 12 Quebec institutions will benefit from considerable financial support to continue their cutting-edge oncology research work.

Developing innovative anti-leukemic vaccines (Claude Perreault, IRIC):
The goal of this project is to discover antigens exclusively present on leukemic cells that can elicit a strong immune response.

Optimizing prostate cancer treatments using molecular imaging and targeted radioligand therapy [Brigitte Guérin (CRCHUS), Frédéric Pouliot (CRCHUQc), Jean-Mathieu Beauregard (CRCHUQc)]:
This project is aimed at developing new medical imaging tools in order to visualize and better characterize the various metastatic prostate cancer cells and thus, provide patients with better treatment.

Developing new targeted therapies to improve survival of children suffering from leukemias [Brian Wilhelm (IRIC), Frédéric Barabé (CHUL), Sonia Cellot (CHU Ste-Justine)]:
This project consists of identifying new drugs to improve survival rates with respect to high fatality acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in children.

Exploiting the Achilles’ heel of ovarian cancers in order to develop effective treatments [Anne-Marie Mes-Masson (CRCHUM), Francis Rodier (CRCHUM), Jean-Yves Masson (CRCHUQc)]:
The goal of this project is to improve the current therapies for ovarian cancer in order to increase survival and quality of life for women who are suffering from it.

Targeting cancer stem cells to fight leukemia relapses (Trang Hoang, IRIC):
Leukemic stem cells spared by the current treatment depend on their interactions with a niche for their survival, revealing a vulnerability that this team intends to exploit in order to develop new compounds that prevent relapses following treatment.

Overcoming drug resistance in poor outcome breast cancers [Morag Park (McGill), Michael Pollack (HGJ), Sylvie Mader (IRIC)]: The goal of this project is to develop approaches to target treatment-resistant tumors, or for which no treatment is currently available, and thus reduce mortality.

Reducing the burden of cancer for patients and the healthcare system: Collaborative governance of the Quebec Cancer Network [Dominique Tremblay (CRHCLM), Nassera Touati (ENAP)] :
The purpose of this projectis to analyze how, why, by whom, for whom and under what conditions the network’s governance contributes to practices resulting in added-value effects for patients, health professionals and the overall system.

This major collaborative investment promises significant outcomes that will benefit patients in complementary areas such as drug development, optimizing medical devices and improving the organization of cancer care.