The Alberta Cancer Foundation is Alberta’s own. It was established to advance
cancer research province-wide and to directly support Alberta’s 17 cancer centres.*
At the Alberta Cancer Foundation, we believe a cancer-free future is both
possible and inevitable. When we get there, depends on the focus and
energy we put to it today.
Participants in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer are leaders in providing this focus and energy. With their support, the Alberta Cancer Foundation has become the leading non-government source of research funding in the province.
Thank you for joining us in standing with those who have no choice but to stand up to cancer.
For those facing cancer today, in honour of those lost to cancer, and for generations to come, together, we will deliver on the promise of progress.
*The Alberta Cancer Foundation is directly responsible for supporting the work of the Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary, Jack Ady Cancer Centre, Lethbridge, Central Alberta Cancer Centre, Red Deer, and Grande Prairie Cancer Centre along with 11 community cancer centres.
Ride dollars times three!
The multiplier effect
The Alberta Cancer Foundation prides itself on ensuring donor dollars are leveraged through strategic partnership. And our track record is a good one. Overall, every research dollar invested by the Alberta Cancer Foundation is leveraged to attract an additional two dollars in funding from other sources.
Rider, researcher, doc drives progress in the ‘Hat’
Dr. Marc Trudeau, a two-time Rider, knows first hand the difference the dollars he raises make. As a medical oncologist at the Medicine Hat Cancer Centre, Dr. Trudeau sees cancer as more than a disease. Dr. Trudeau sees the faces of cancer, neighbours and friends who face a serious health issue and rely on him to help get treatment close to home.
But Dr. Trudeau brings more to cancer patients in the Medicine Hat area than medical expertise and a caring heart. The dollars Dr. Trudeau raises in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer help him put his clinical research expertise to work as well.
In partnership with the Alberta Cancer Foundation-funded Alberta Cancer Clinical Research Unit, Dr. Trudeau offers his patients the chance to participate in ground-breaking clinical trials:
- Phase III trials testing new agents in women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer who over express HER2, a protein involved in more aggressive forms of breast cancer.
- Phase II trials of the drug Sutent, for patients with some forms of prostate cancer.
- Dr. Trudeau also hopes to be able to involve patients with non small cell lung carcinoma in trials for new therapeutic compounds.
Here are a few examples of powerful collaborations made possible with the dollars raised in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer.
National clinical trials
Your participation makes it possible for the Alberta Cancer Foundation to fund the Alberta Cancer Clinical Research Unit, which ensures Alberta cancer patients have the option to participate in clinical trials.
This year, thanks to your participation, the impact goes even further with much-needed support for a national collaboration tied in with the National Cancer Institute in the U.S.
Dr. Quincy Chu at the Edmonton Cross Cancer Institute and Dr. Patricia Tang of the Tom Baker Cancer Centre are collaborating with the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto on a number of ongoing trials.
Examples include three current Phase II studies, targeting sarcomas, renal cell carcinoma and colorectal cancer.
Canada’s largest population study
Partners: Alberta Cancer Foundation, Alberta Innovates Health Solutions, Alberta Health Services, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
The Tomorrow Project was established in 2001 with Alberta Cancer Foundation funding and is now the basis of a national study, which will enroll 300,000 Canadians. This is the largest study of its kind in Canada. It’s funded with proceeds from the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer and more than 100 Riders signed up to participate at camp!
In Alberta, the Tomorrow Project will enroll 50,000 well Albertans and track them for 50 years to learn more about who gets cancer and why. Prevention, treatment and care for our children and grandchildren will be transformed by what we learn through this project.
A united front for children’s cancers
Partners: Alberta Cancer Foundation, Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation
The Alberta Cancer Foundation invested $250,000 from the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer and committed to another $250,000 in 2011/12 for an integrated Experimental and Applied Therapeutics program for children’s cancers at the Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute. This partnership will build a strong, integrated network of research into children’s cancers so young patients here in Alberta will be among the first to benefit from new knowledge.
Tools of the trade
Partners: Alberta Cancer Foundation, University of Alberta, University of Calgary, Alberta Innovates, Health Solutions
Proceeds from the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer help attract top minds from around the world. They also help ensure they have the labs and equipment needed to succeed. Thanks to your participation, the Alberta Cancer Foundation is funding new lab space at the University of Alberta Health Research Innovation Facility expected to be open by the summer of 2011.
Your dollars are also going towards the purchase of a new PET CT scanner, critical for research on biomarkers that predict and track disease progression.
Your dollars also supported upgrading cancer research space at the University of Calgary Heritage Medical Research Building.
Ride dollars are also funding a commitment of $500,000 over three years for a colorectal cancer bio repository and bio-specimen processing facility. Bio-specimens, such as tumour samples or blood samples, are critical to biomedical research. Ready access to high-quality samples keeps research moving.
Participation in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer helped launch more than 50 new cancer research projects.
Here are a few examples of new projects made possible with the dollars raised in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer.
Dr. Roy Golsteyn at the University of Lethbridge studies cancer cell division. He treats cells with drugs or irradiation under conditions that are similar to those used in cancer clinics. Dr. Golsteyn then uses microscopy to examine how cancer cells sometimes survive treatments. With a grant made possible by the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, Dr. Golsteyn is able to purchase an inverted light microscope to better observe human cancer cells.
Dr. Steve Robbins is working to break the power of one of the deadliest cancers, Malignant Gliomas, a cancer of the brain. The median survival for this cancer is just a year, and it’s rare for a patient to survive longer than three. Dr. Robbins and his team are working on the hypothesis that stem cell-like Malignant Glioma cells continually replenish glioma cancer cells after radiotherapy and chemotherapy have destroyed them. He and his team are testing “stealth bomber” therapies to destroy the Malignant Glioma stem cell and the production of new cancer cells.
A part of Dr. Tony Magliocco’s research looks at identifying genetic changes in breast cancer and ovarian cancer that can be used as markers to identify the subtype of cancer and to predict how certain cancers will respond to treatment. In his breast cancer research, he is particularly interested in the oncogene Src and how its activation might be involved in driving breast cancer to spread or metastasize. or this research, Dr. Magliocco’s laboratory has created a special test-tube model of bone metastases. Using this model, Dr. Magliocco can isolate bone stromal cells to determine how they might attract and support the growth of breast cancer cells. If this process can be better understood, it could lead to the development of new therapies to protect the bone from breast cancer metastasis.
Dr. Roseline Godbout at the Cross Cancer Institute studies Retinoblastoma, a childhood tumour of the eye that occurs in retinal cells when both copies of the retinoblastoma gene are mutated.
Dr. Godbout is investigating how retinal precursor cells become tumour cells upon loss of the retinoblastoma gene. One of the strategies used by her lab is to examine the spectrum of changes that occur in retinoblastoma cells compared to normal retinal cells.
Leukemia/Lymphoma and other blood disorders
Dr. Jan Storek and his research group at the University of Calgary are among the many research projects funded with Ride dollars that advance understanding of leukemia/lymphoma and other blood disorders.
While stem cell transplants can be a life saver for some types of leukemia or lymphoma, the procedure still carries risks of infection and relapse of the leukemia or lymphoma. Dr. Jan Storek’s research group studies how immunity develops after stem cell transplants.
Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer dollars provided a carbon monoxide monitor and a bio-VOC breath sampler to help Dr. Desiree Hao, a medical oncologist at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, launch a collaborative pilot project to investigate whether smoking status and exhaled volatile organic compounds can be important predictors of lung cancer survival.
In Edmonton, Ride funds helped graduate student Charlene Downey of Dr. Frank Jirik’s lab, investigate the use of bioluminescence and micro-CT imaging to evaluate small cell lung cancer metastasis to bone.
Dr. Alan Underhill, Mary Johnston Chair in Melanoma Research, is a two-time Rider. He and his team study how proteins that normally function in development of the cells that produce the pigment of our skin, hair and eyes are exploited to fuel development of the skin cancer, Melanoma.
Ride dollars this year helped Dr. Underhill replace a basic piece of equipment fundamental to his work, a spectrophotometer. This equipment is used daily to ensure researchers can know how much of a biological molecule is present before doing more complex tests.
Recruitment for a global research leader is underway to fill the Frank and Carla Sojonky Prostate Cancer Research Chair at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton. Participation through the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer is helping to equip a dedicated research lab for prostate cancer research and provide start-up funding for the work of the research chair.
Dr. Lisa Yu, a post-doctoral fellow working with Dr. Donald Fujita at the University of Calgary, is an example of research into colon cancer made possible with Ride dollars.
Dr. Yu and the Fujita research lab are investigating ways to stop colon cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body (metastasizing). They are concentrating their investigation on a master cellular control protein (Src), which is produced by the human c-src gene and under some conditions, stimulates the development and/or progress of cancers.
The 2010 Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer made it possible for Dr. Yu to study ways to disable this protein and other cancer-causing gene products so tumour growth is blocked and metastasis prevented. While they are currently working in laboratory models, the goal is development of a drug which could be taken to clinical trials in humans.