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A project carried out by IRIC research teams nominated by Québec Science

Published on January 9, 2020

As we begin 2020, IRIC is very proud to announce that the project from the team headed by Dr. Claude Perreault, aimed at developing a therapeutic cancer vaccine, has been nominated as one of the 10 most impressive Quebec discoveries of the past year, a list put forward by Québec Science. The project was carried out in collaboration with the teams headed by Sébastien Lemieux and Pierre Thibault, who are also Principal Investigators at IRIC.

A few words about the competition
For the 27th consecutive year, a jury made up of scientists and journalists selects the amazing discoveries made in 2019 that constitute major breakthroughs or advances in an area of fundamental or applied research. The projects chosen come from various fields of expertise: forest ecology, immunobiology, microbiology, ecology, geothermics, neuroscience, biology, geography, chemistry, cell biology.

Using junk to find a cancer vaccine
A long-term undertaking enabled the team headed by Dr. Perreault and his collaborators to decipher, in what’s known as “junk DNA”, the way to activate the specialized immune cells, T-cells, in order for them to fight cancer cells. This remarkable advance will eventually lead to the development of a first cancer vaccine for human use, particularly for ovarian cancer and acute myeloid leukemia. Results of the study were published in Science Translational Medicine. If all goes as planned, the first clinical trials should take place in the coming years.

It’s your move
Between now and February 14, the public is invited to vote for one of the 10 discoveries nominated. IRIC encourages its communities and its partners to support the project carried out by Dr. Claude Perreault and his collaborators (#3), which has real potential to transform the life of thousands of patients, and implicitly help advance science.

IRIC would like to take this opportunity to invite you to support the new Fonds vaccin thérapeutique contre le cancer, aimed at supporting the investigators involved with this project, who work tirelessly and with conviction to change the life of those affected by cancer. The fund was set up by Dr. Robert Patenaude, who survived chronic myeloid leukemia thanks to the great care provided by Dr. Perreault, who suggested a new experimental treatment at the time. As he approaches the 40th anniversary of his recovery, Dr. Patenaude is more grateful than ever and is committed to supporting the research carried out at IRIC.