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  • TFRI cancer research programs for 2015-2016

    by User Not Found | Apr 22, 2015
    The Terry Fox Research Institute is pleased to announce the launch of its cancer research programs for 2015-2016 funded by the Terry Fox Foundation. Please check the Research section of the website for further details.


    1. The Terry Fox New Frontiers Program Project Grants support multidisciplinary teams of excellence that contribute to well-defined research topics of relevance to cancer has an initial deadline of July 2, 2015 for Letters of Intent for its 2016 competition.
    2. The Terry Fox New Investigator Awards support outstanding young researchers as they develop their careers as independent research scientists or clinician scientists to undertake high-quality research into cancer in close close collaboration with established research teams has a deadline of June 15th, 2015 for full applications to its 2016 competition, and
    3. The Terry Fox Research Institute’s Translational Projects seeks Pan-Canadian, multi-disciplinary, milestone-driven teams that develop clinically relevant research at the early stages of translation – at the stage between discovery and early stage clinical trials over a five-year period has a deadline of June 1, 2015 for an Expression of Interest.

    These programs are open for application by any qualified cancer researcher and research team at eligible Canadian research organization(s).

  • Pancreatic cancer loses viral defences when talking with supporting cells

    by User Not Found | Apr 20, 2015

    Ottawa, ON -- Terry Fox funded researchers in Ottawa have found a way to make pancreatic cancer cells more vulnerable to cancer-killing viruses, known as oncolytic viruses. In a paper published today in Nature Medicine, the scientists describe how they can exploit the communication, or cross-talk, between pancreatic cancer and a specific cell type that supports the tumour. They found that this cross-talk weakens the ability of both cell types to fight off cancer-fighting viruses.

    The cross-talking cells are genetically normal cells that the cancer has conditioned to support the tumour. This conditioning by the tumour actually makes the cells more susceptible to virus infection, compared to their normal counterparts. In turn, the cells secrete a protein called FGF2 that makes the tumours more susceptible to virus infection, making it possible to kill the tumour.

    2015-04-20 Bell-IlkowDr. John Bell, left, with lead author postdoctoral fellow Dr. Carolina Ilkow.

    This research is part of the Terry Fox Program Project Grant on the Canadian Oncolytic Virus Consortium (COVCo) and has been funded by The Terry Fox Foundation (TFF) for over 10 years. These latest findings by the team follow a recent award of $7 million from TFF to conduct the pre-clinical work needed before progressing to trials in humans.

    Pancreatic cancer is among the deadliest of cancers, killing approximately 4,400 Canadians every year. Only 6 per cent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer live longer than five years.

    "Our findings could be important for patients in a couple of ways," said Dr. John Bell, the study’s author, project leader of the Terry Fox Program Project Grant on the Canadian Oncolytic Virus Consortium (COVCo) and a senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. "First, they could help us predict which cancer patients will be more likely to respond to oncolytic virus treatment.”

    "More importantly, we saw improved outcomes in tumours treated with an oncolytic virus that expressed FGF2," added Dr. Bell. "Combined with the fact that the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer has been stuck in the single digits, we are motivated to move this knowledge into clinical testing."

    The experiments for this paper, whose lead author is postdoctoral fellow Dr. Carolina Ilkow, were conducted with mouse models and cells from human patients with pancreatic cancer. The findings require further study before they can be translated into a clinical trial.

    "This discovery is so encouraging to me, even though I fully realize it's still at an early stage," said Sindy Hooper, an Ottawa mother of two and triathlete who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January 2013. "For me, research progress like this means hope, and that hope helps me live with the stark reality of my diagnosis."

    One of the potential benefits of oncolytic virus therapy is that it is far less toxic than standard chemotherapy. Oncolytic viruses attack and kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. The expected side effects of oncolytic virus treatments being tested in clinical trials are usually a mild fever or flu-like symptoms that last a day or two.

    More information

    The paper "Reciprocal cellular cross-talk within the tumor microenvironment promotes oncolytic virus activity" was published online on April 20, 2015, by Nature Medicine.

    Read the full press release by the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

    Watch Dr. John Bell talk about the Terry Fox Program Project Grant on the Canadian Oncolytic Virus Consortium (COVCo).


    About TFF
    The Terry Fox Foundation maintains the vision and principles of Terry Fox while raising money for cancer research through the annual Terry Fox Run, Terry’s CAUSE on Campus, National School Run Day and other fundraising initiatives. To date, over $650 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry Fox's name. The first Terry Fox Run was held in 1981, with The Terry Fox Foundation being created in 1988. Its national headquarters are located in Chilliwack, BC and it has offices in 9 provinces. www.terryfox.org.

    About TFRI
    Launched in October 2007, The Terry Fox Research Institute is the brainchild of The Terry Fox Foundation and today functions as its research arm. TFRI seeks to improve significantly the outcomes of cancer research for the patient through a highly collaborative, team-oriented, milestone-based approach to research that will enable discoveries to translate quickly into practical solutions for cancer patients worldwide. TFRI collaborates with over 50 cancer hospitals and research organizations across Canada. TFRI headquarters are in Vancouver, BC. www.tfri.ca

    For more information, contact:
    Kelly Curwin, Chief Communications Officer
    Terry Fox Research Institute
    Office: 604-675-8223; Cell: 778-237-8158
    E-mail: kcurwin@tfri.ca

  • Abstract deadline for CCRC 2015

    by User Not Found | Apr 14, 2015
    The Canadian Cancer Research Alliance’s 2015 Canadian Cancer Research Conference will be held November 8 to 10, 2015 in Montréal. This year TFRI is a gold supporter and part of the planning committee for the event. The deadline for abstract submissions is May 15, 2015. An Early Bird registration fee is available until August 31, 2015. For more information download the promotional leaflet or visit www.ccra-acrc.ca/conference.
  • $35 million goal for Marathon of Hope Anniversary

    by User Not Found | Apr 13, 2015
    This weekend marked the 35th anniversary of the start of Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope, when he set off from St. John's, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980. In the 35 years since that day over $650 million has been raised in Terry's name for cancer research. Terry's older brother, Fred Fox, has challenged the country to once again raise $1 for every Canadian as The Terry Fox Foundation hopes to raise $35 million this year.

    The anniversary event was celebrated all across Canada, in particular by running groups who ran a combined distance of over 42,000 km in honour of Terry.

    Read the full story on the CBC website.
  • Museum of History - Terry Fox exhibit

    by User Not Found | Apr 07, 2015
    To mark the 35th anniversary of Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope, the Canadian Museum of History has opened a special exhibit Terry Fox - Running to the Heart of Canada. For more information see the Canadian Museum of History website: http://www.historymuseum.ca/terryfox/

    Museum of History - Terry Fox exhibit Museum of History - Terry Fox exhibit
  • Job opportunity - Senior Research Programs Manager

    by User Not Found | Apr 07, 2015
    TFRI is seeking a Senior Research Programs Manager to join its team in Vancouver. For more details see the career opportunities page.
  • TFRI extends condolences to family of Cy Frank

    by User Not Found | Mar 05, 2015
    TFRI is saddened to hear of the death of Dr. Cy Frank, President and CEO of Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions, a TFRI partner.

    TFRI extends its condolences to Dr. Frank's family and friends and to the research community members in Alberta.

    Announcement from Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions
  • Run a mile in Terry's shoes on April 4

    by User Not Found | Jan 30, 2015
    To mark the 35th anniversary of Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope, The Terry Fox Foundation will be hosting a special walk and run in Terry's home town of Port Coquitlam. The Terry Fox Training Run on April 4 will include a 10-mile (16 km) run following the route in Port Coquitlam that Terry used to train for his cross-Canada trek, taking participants past Terry's childhood home and around the Maple Creek middle school track, where he learned to walk and run again after losing his leg to cancer.

  • Call for Abstracts

    by User Not Found | Jan 20, 2015
    Are you a graduate student, postdoctoral trainee or clinical research fellow on a Terry Fox-funded project or program? The Terry Fox Research Institute invites you to compete for a travel award to attend our 6th Annual Scientific Meeting to be held in St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador on Thursday, May 7 to Saturday, May 9, 2015.

    For more information see www.tfri.ca/asm
  • Congratulations to TFRI researcher on $25 million funding for cancer biotherapeutics initiative

    by User Not Found | Jan 15, 2015

    The Terry Fox Research Institute congratulates Dr. John Bell and his team on their award of $25 million in funding from the Government of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence. Dr. Bell will launch Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment (BioCanRx), a new national initiative to move promising cancer biotherapeutics, such as cancer-killing viruses and immune cell therapies, from discovery to clinical trials.

    Dr. John Bell is a senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) and Project Leader on the Terry Fox New Frontiers Program Project Grant: Canadian Oncolytic Virus Consortium.

    Darrell Fox, senior advisor to TFRI and brother of Terry Fox, will serve on the board of BioCanRx.


    More information on Dr. Bell's TFRI research

    Read about Dr. Bell's TFRI-funded research in the TFRI Annual Report.

    Watch Dr. Bell talk about the Canadian Oncolytic Virus Consortium

    More information on BioCanRx

    The news announcement from the Government of Canada.
    The news release from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

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