Prostate Cancer Research Reaches Significant Milestone

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.

Thanks to you, vital advancements that will improve the lives of many patients are being made in the lab of the Alberta Cancer Foundation’s Frank and Carla Sojonky Chair in Prostate Cancer Research held by Dr. John Lewis.

Our research projects are working with a line of sight to the patients who are living with prostate cancer. Our overarching goal is to make an impact on patients with prostate cancer, ideally in the short term. Our team—made up of scientists and physicians throughout Alberta, around Canada and internationally--is working hard to make that happen.

Dr. John Lewis

For example, in 2015, Dr. Lewis discovered a biomarker that was able to accurately predict which prostate cancer patients would have their cancer recur or spread. To date, this clinical trial has successfully recruited 889 patients who are suspected for prostate cancer, and 700 patients currently undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. This impactful discovery could allow for doctors to treat patients with the right kind of therapy, which also means identifying those patients who need to be treated earlier and more aggressively.

This clinical trial milestone has also allowed Dr. Lewis and his team to collect and store more than 100,000 patient samples in the Alberta Prostate Cancer Biorepository, the largest prostate collection in the world. Validating biomarkers is a difficult task, because only one percent of published cancer biomarkers make it to clinical use.

The good news is that all of this effort will benefit the research community at large, and other researchers can validate their exciting new biomarkers for improved prostate cancer diagnosis

Dr. John Lewis

Dr. Lewis is also in the process of completing a study which will soon be published in the prestigious Cancer Research Journal. This study enhances the detection of cancer by using a combination of nanotechnology and a specialized ultrasound technique. A Phase I trial that would test this new technology on patients may become a reality in the next six months and ultimately provide personalized treatments, leading to improved patient outcomes and an increased quality of life.

Because of you, Dr. Lewis and his team continue to solidify Alberta as a world-class prostate cancer research centre. Thank you for making investments that matter.

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