TORONTO, May 31, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — May 31 marks the end of Brain Cancer Awareness Month. On this day, Brain Cancer Canada turns awareness into action by emphatically supporting groundbreaking research into brain cancer treatment. The charity has made $100,000 available to Dr. Sheila Singh and her research group at McMaster University to target recurrent Glioblastomas (GBMs) with generous support from sponsors, including Scotia Wealth Management, Yamana Gold, and Hampton Securities.
Dr. Singh and her team focus on stem-like cells driving recurrent GBMs’ functionality, using CRISPR technology to identify a series of essential genes in cancer cells as potential points-of-attack. Specially targeting antibodies or immunotherapies could then disable the function of those genes, potentially offering a new method to treating recurrent GBMs.
“Brain Cancer Canada is stepping up to fund research that is in an uncertain but promising stage,” said Dr. Sheila Singh, Pediatric Neurosurgeon at McMaster Children’s Hospital and Professor of Surgery and Scientist at McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. “Early-stage research is harder to get funded but is so essential to make a difference. The funding we are receiving today allows us to explore and solidify hopeful indications that there might be a viable therapy in our approach”.
GBMs are the most aggressive and common primary brain cancers. The outcomes for patients are devastating. Most patients undergo surgical removal, radiation and chemotherapy, which can significantly affect their quality of life. On average, GBMs regrow seven to nine months after diagnosis. Most patients do not survive beyond fifteen months after diagnosis. The five-year survival rate is only between 5.5-6.8%.
Recurrent GBMs are significantly different from patients’ original GBMs. They respond substantially less to treatment, causing them to be fatal. Successfully targeting the unique makeup of these recurrent GBMs could potentially mean a breakthrough.
“Our charity focuses on supporting the fight against brain cancers by funding research, treatment and technology,” said Brain Cancer Canada Chair Angela Scalisi. “I am grateful to the generous donors that contributed to this research. We were able to put their donations to use on the day we closed Brain Cancer Awareness Month. That is an impressive result for an organization without any paid employment. It shows that we can quickly deliver as much of our funds where they belong, thanks to the bold efforts of our Volunteers, Ambassadors and Board Members.”
“It has been over fifteen years since we have seen a breakthrough in treating brain cancers,” said Marc Peeters, Director Partnerships and Stakeholders at Brain Cancer Canada. “Dr. Singh and her team at Sheila Singh Lab are taking an innovative, multidisciplinary approach to unlock new possibilities that are so needed. By supporting their work, we believe we can work step-by-step towards the next critical discovery that could help end this fight in favour of brain cancer patients. This is just a first step in our journey with Sheila Singh Labs and McMaster University, and we look forward to supporting more projects in the future”.
For inquiries, please contact: Marc Peeters, Director Partnerships and Stakeholders at Brain Cancer Canada, [email protected], 416 918 6678