One in six Alberta men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and more than 2,700 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in Alberta this year alone.
Progress is being made for the 2,700 Alberta men who will hear the words ‘you have cancer’ this year. Innovative ideas and real results are being developed in the lab of the Alberta Cancer Foundation’s Frank and Carla Sojonky Chair in Prostate Cancer Research held by Dr. John Lewis.
Most recently, Dr. Lewis discovered a biomarker that accurately predicts which prostate cancer patients will have their cancer recur or spread. This transformational discovery could one day help doctors give chemotherapy, surgery and more aggressive treatment to the men most likely to benefit.
The team is also working on developing a simple blood test to screen for this antibody. Dr. Lewis hopes this blood test could become common clinical practice within three or four years.
"Ideally this test could identify the subset of patients who don’t require surgery, and identify those who need to be treated earlier and more aggressively."
- Dr. John Lewis
Dr. Lewis’ specialty is to study the process of metastasis—the spread of tumour cells throughout the body. With this in mind, Dr. Lewis has created a platform to study cancer in vivo, allowing him to see how tumours grow and spread over a short period of time. This has allowed him to characterize a number of new protein “targets” that are involved in the spread of tumour cells.
While Dr. Lewis’ main research focus is prostate cancer, his research can be applied to all types of metastatic cancers. Dr. Lewis and his team are developing a drug they call “tumour glue” which will prevent cancer cells from detaching and will stop the spread of cancer in its tracks. This "tumor glue" drug can be used with breast, colorectal and liver cancers.
Dr. Lewis and his team are pushing to accelerate new and innovative ways to align research throughout the province and solidify Alberta as a world-class prostate cancer research centre. Be part of this investment by helping the Alberta Cancer Foundation support Dr. Lewis in expanding prostate cancer research and revolutionizing cancer treatment in all areas. Help make life better for Albertans facing cancer.