Defining better prevention strategies
Accelerating translation of new knowledge
Dr. Christine Friedenreich is a pioneer in the field of cancer and exercise. Long before the benefits of exercise became common knowledge, Dr. Friedenreich was investigating the influence of physical activity on cancer across the spectrum—from prevention to diagnosis to survivorship. Recently named the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers Breast Cancer endowed chair, Dr. Friedenreich is expanding the provincial breast cancer research programs in this province and accelerating the translation of new knowledge to the general population. Over the next five years, Dr. Friedenreich will build upon her previous findings from research studies that focus on the relationship between physical activity and breast cancer. Ultimately, her research will provide evidence on exactly what type, dose and timing in life is important for reducing breast cancer risk and improving rehabilitation, quality of life and survival after breast cancer. Alberta Cancer Foundation donors have been instrumental in Dr. Friedenreich’s research, investing $3 million to the endowed chair, plus a $250,000 establishment award over five years.
The best approach to reducing the cancer burden is to prevent cancer from ever happening. To this end, the Alberta Cancer Foundation and its donors launched the innovative Tomorrow Project, a long-term study trying to learn why some people get cancers and others do not. The largest research study in Alberta, the Tomorrow Project is discovering more about the causes of cancer so that it may be prevented in the future. Because of work initiated in Alberta, this study is now taking place across the country and has enrolled 300,000 Canadians. Progress has already been made—Tomorrow Project samples have been used as controls for a cancer research study, finding six genes that may increase the risk of developing cancer. In the last five years alone, we have invested $4.9 million to this visionary project.