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CHUM, Terry Fox Research Institute Launch Prostate Cancer Biomarker Study

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Researchers from the University of Montreal's Hospital Center (CHUM) will head a pan-Canadian study to discover biomarkers for prostate cancer treatment that is funded by C$4 million (US$3.9 million) from the Terry Fox Foundation and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

The multi-partner Terry Fox Research Institute Canadian Prostate Cancer Biomarker Network will focus on finding new ways to determine which forms of prostate cancer require immediate treatment and which do not, and how to predict which patients are at risk of their cancer progressing after surgery or radiation therapy.

The Terry Fox Foundation is providing C$3.5 million and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer C$550,000 to fund the four-year project.

"Bringing together expertise and resources from across the country through this network will help to advance the science needed to improve the lives of Canadian men diagnosed with prostate cancer," Robin Harkness, a research specialist with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and executive director of the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance, said in a statement.

"This new collaborative team has leadership and a track record across the research and clinical spectrums in understanding and treating prostate cancer and, collectively, they have excellent access to tissue samples and serum that are important to conducting studies to find new and effective biomarkers in this area," TFRI President and Scientific Director Victor Ling said in a statement.

The partners plan to work together "to identify significant biomarker combinations to be used with existing clinical tools to allow clinicians to better assess the risk of tumor progression of early-stage tumors before and after treatment," explained Fred Saad, a professor and chief of urology at the CHUM and the study's leader.

"If this study goes as we hope it will, its impact will be profound — reducing recurrence and improving quality of life for men who have the disease - as well as bringing economic and societal benefits through the more efficient and effective use of health resources," Saad added.

The partners involved in the project include McGill University; McGill University Health Centre and its Research Institute, Laval University, and the University of Quebec Hospital; Kingston General Hospital at Queens University, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and the University Health Network – Princess Margaret Hospital in Ontario; the University of British Columbia, and the Vancouver Prostate Centre, and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute.

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