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, Margery E. Yuill Cancer Centre, Central Alberta Cancer Centre, Red Deer, and Grande Prairie Cancer Centre along with 11 community cancer centres.
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.
Investing in Progress
This year, the Alberta Cancer Foundation was able to make transformational progress by strategically investing donor dollars in cutting-edge cancer research, treatment, screening, prevention and care programs across the province. See below how your dollars are at work right here at home, making you a powerful part of Alberta’s cancer-free movement:
The Alberta Cancer Foundation supplied $235,000 towards the debut of a new ocular brachytheraphy program to be run out of the Cross Cancer Institute, a first for the Canadian Prairies. It has for patients with a rare form of eye cancer, this means they no longer need to leave Alberta for care, or risk losing an eye unnecessarily.
Healthcare leader Sanofi Canada and the Alberta Cancer Foundation partnered on a colorectal cancer surveillance research program, with the goal of reaching 90 per cent adherence to patients’ follow-up guidelines to capture recurrences when a cure is still possible. The company invested $105,000 to support the research program over the next three years. The Alberta Cancer Foundation also contributed $175,000 to support data analysis at both the Cross Cancer Institute and the Tom Baker Cancer Centre.
A dream team of the country’s top minds in brain cancer research are harnessing their talent and technologies to find new treatments for glioblastoma, the most common and deadly form of brain cancer affecting 2,600 Canadians annually. Dr. Gregory Cairncross, Alberta Cancer Foundation Chair in Brain Tumour Research will lead the study made possible by an $8.2 million investment from the Alberta Cancer Foundation, Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI), Terry Fox Foundation (TFF), Alberta InnovatesHealth Solutions, and other partners.
The Cross Cancer Institute is home to a world-class tumour bank holding thousands of priceless specimens accessible to researchers across the province and the world that will contribute to future research productivity. One example of the tumour bank’s importance came when a team that included the Cross Cancer Institute’s Dr. Sambasivaro Damaraju and Dr. John Mackey decoded the complex genetic makeup of the hard-to-treat, deadliest form of breast cancer paving the way for developing new drugs and more effective treatments. The study was published in the prestigious journal Nature.
A new generation PET/CT scanner at Edmonton’s Cross Cancer Institute will be the first scanner of its type in Canada and one of a handful in North America. Capable of providing high resolution images, the PET/CT scanner is a valuable early detection tool tool in spotting much smaller tumours than currently possible, which is vital in impacting the course of cancer. The new scanner also allows four times as many people to be screened each day.
In the last year, 7,500 patient journal packages created by the Alberta Cancer Foundation have been distributed as gifts to newly diagnosed patients in cancer centres across the province, providing a centralized place to document and manage their cancer journey.
The Alberta Cervical Cancer Screening Program is being expanded to include 680,000 more women due to a $900,000 investment by the Alberta Cancer Foundation, ensuring higher screening rates and better outcomes for those at risk of developing cancer. The program encourages women across the province ages 21 to 69 to be screened, mails them their Pap test results and reminds them of overdue tests.
A screening for distress study at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre led by Dr. Barry Bultz explored distress and its effects on the well-being of more than 6,000 cancer patients, representing a shift towards standardization for person-centered care.
The Alberta Cancer Foundation has pledged $4 million to Dr. Gino Fallone and his team to build a whole-body prototype of the world’s first Linac-MR to eventually be tested in clinical trials at the Cross Cancer Institute. The machine aims to take real-time magnetic resonance images of a tumour while simultaneously delivering radiation. Seeing the tumour more clearly means doctors may deliver higher, more precise doses of radiation to give patients fewer treatments with fewer side effects.
The Alberta Cancer Foundation invested $634,934 in trainee and fellowship programs and grants to support cutting-edge research. Training the next generation of bright minds, projects range from breast to brain cancer, along with other studies in radiotherapy, lymphoma, DNA repair, and beyond. The Fred C. Coles Cancer Research Fellowship and Dr. Cyril Kay Graduate Studentship Award are two new awards that emerged in 2011-2012.
Newly diagnosed cancer patients and those living with cancer now have access to patient navigators dedicated to easing their cancer journey thanks in part to $643,579 in support from the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Other partners, like Syncrude Canada with a $150,000 donation to Fort McMurray‘s Northern Lights Regional Health Centre, have contributed to the program to extend its reach across the province.
The Alberta Cancer Foundation invested $2.5 million into the Alberta Cancer Clinical Research Unit which supports 2,000 Albertans who are currently participating in more than 200 clinical trials around the province, spanning all cancer types. In fact, Alberta leads Canada in clinical trial participation with 11 percent of new cancer patients taking part in a trial compared to the national average of seven per cent.