News Release: Pilot lung cancer screening program receives funding from Transformative Program competition

March 13, 2014 – The Alberta Cancer Foundation has invested more than $7 million into four new research programs across the province, all designed to transform patient care and impact outcomes here in Alberta.

“Every day 43 Albertans hear the words you have cancer,” says Myka Osinchuk, CEO of the Alberta Cancer Foundation. “One way we can propel discovery and make a difference for those 43 people is by creating an environment for collaboration—bringing science, patients and care together in a new and innovative way. That’s what these investments will do.”

The Alberta Cancer Foundation’s new investment model means every decision is focused on improving patient outcomes. This new “transformative program” investment is the first step in a long-term vision that will accelerate discovery and translate scientific research into practice.

Dr. Alain Tremblay, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Calgary and a member of the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases and the Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute (SACRI), is one of four successful researchers to receive funding from the Transformative Program competition, which originally received applications from 56 research teams in Alberta. Twelve teams were invited to present their proposals in front of a high-calibre review panel made up of national cancer researchers, informed patients and stakeholders from the business community and health system. The Alberta Cancer Foundation will invest $2.3 million over the next five years into Dr. Tremblay’s program.

Tremblay and his team will use the Alberta Cancer Foundation investment to establish a three year pilot lung cancer screening program, with the goal of eventually reducing lung cancer deaths in Alberta. Lung cancer causes more cancer deaths than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined. The research program will screen 800 Albertans for lung cancer over three years to determine how effective the screening method is and which patients can benefit the most. Additionally, 200 Albertans who have previously participated in a national lung cancer screening pilot program will be screened again to determine how often patients need to be screened. At the end of the three year project, Dr. Tremblay and his team hope to be in a position to start a full province- wide screening program.

“The high number of lung cancer related deaths is in part due to the lack of screening tools available.” Tremblay says. “Most patients present with very advanced forms of lung cancer that cannot easily be cured. A lung cancer screening program could save lives by allowing earlier detection and treatment.”

People interested in participating in the screening study can contact

For more information on the Transformative Program investments, visit: Alberta Cancer Foundation investments

For more information, please contact:
Phoebe Dey, Director, Communications, Alberta Cancer Foundation
(780)700-6120 or