Innovation


Innovation…creativity…vision…whatever name we use, it is what drives advances in prostate cancer research. It is what is required to develop new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat prostate cancer and better manage the issues experienced by men and their families as they go through their prostate cancer journey. We support innovation in research through Discovery Grants, an evolution of the pre-existing Pilot Grant program.
 
Movember Discovery Grants

The Movember Discovery Grants program continues the main goal of supporting “the spark” – aka researchers in that key stage of obtaining early results. The Discovery Grant program supports junior investigators and allows more established investigators to pursue new important directions. It is open to applications from all areas of prostate cancer research. For more details on this project, please click here.

Here are a few profiles of the awardees. For a full list of recipients, click here.

Rodney Breau
Gerald Krystal
Salaheddin Mahmud
Andrew Matthew
Donald Poirier
Rithwik Ramachandran
Gurmit Singh
Jose Teodoro

Rodney Breau
Dr. Rodney Breau, Ottawa Hospital, is one of 26 researchers across Canada receiving a Movember Discovery Grant, awarded by Prostate Cancer Canada. Dr. Breau’s research focuses on improving prostate cancer surgery through surgeon feedback and review. In the beginning stages of the disease, removing the prostate eliminates prostate cancer. Ensuring that all of the cancer is removed comes with the risk of the nerves and muscles that control urination and erections being damaged, which can reduce overall quality of life. Another option involves ensuring no nerves or muscles are damaged, but this runs the risk of leaving some cancer behind that can than spread to the rest of the body. Dr. Breau and his team plan on documenting each prostatectomy and providing the respective surgeon with feedback. They will assess if this feedback process changes the doctors’ behavior and any associated effect on the outcome of the patients.

Gerald Krystal
Dr. Gerald Krystal, British Columbia Cancer Agency, is one of 26 researchers across Canada receiving a Movember Discovery Grant, awarded by Prostate Cancer Canada. Dr. Krystal and his team have started to develop a more targeted treatment for patients with advanced prostate cancer, working on the discovery that the herpes virus type-1 (HSV-1) destroys some but not all prostate cancer cells in mouse models. The team wants to find a way to make HSV-1 stronger so that it will destroy all of the cancer cells. As well, they want to have HSV-1 carry a gene that will in turn activate an anti-tumor immune response. This means that it will go directly to the tumor and work on destroying it as well as delay the spread of the cancer.



Salaheddin Mahmud
Dr. Salaheddin Mahmud, University of Manitoba, is one of 26 researchers across Canada receiving a Movember Discovery Grant, awarded by Prostate Cancer Canada. Dr. Mahmud and his team are focusing on the prevention of prostate cancer. Some studies have found that antipsychotic medications used to treat dementia and mental health disorders may inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The team will compare the use of antipsychotic medications among men with prostate cancer and healthy men to see if there is any correlation with the use of these medications and a decreased risk of prostate cancer.




Andrew Matthew
Dr. Andrew Matthew, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, is one of 26 researchers across Canada receiving a Movember Discovery Grant, awarded by Prostate Cancer Canada. Dr. Matthew’s research focuses on using pelvic floor exercises to help alleviate urinary incontinence (inability to control their bladder) after surgery for prostate cancer. This can be embarrassing and may reduce their overall quality of life. Today there are pelvic floor exercises that can be done to try to improve urinary incontinence; however, the results of these exercises are not consistent. Dr. Matthew and his team plan on going beyond the basic pelvic floor exercises to study more intense exercises that involve pfilates and hypopressive techniques. The team will be the first to measure the results of these exercises and see if there is a benefit in advanced pelvic floor exercises.

Donald Poirier
Dr. Donald Poirier, Universite Laval, is one of 26 researchers across Canada receiving a Movember Discovery Grant, awarded by Prostate Cancer Canada. Dr. Poirier and his team have created a radioactive inhibitor that can locate specific cells once it is inside the body, in this case prostate cancer cells. Once it has located these cells, the inhibitor will bind to the cells and label them with a radioactive substance. From there, radio imaging (x-ray) can be used to produce a picture that will show where these cells are located as well as their size and number. This can open the door for better treatments as there will now be a new marker to focus on when diagnosing patients.



Rithwik Ramachandran
Dr. Rithwik Ramachandran, University of Calgary, is one of 26 researchers across Canada receiving a Movember Discovery Grant, awarded by Prostate Cancer Canada. Dr. Ramachandran’s research focuses on a new biomarker for prostate cancer that can guide therapeutic strategies for prostate cancer. Dr. Ramachandran is studying TRPM8, a protein that is found in the prostate - the more severe the prostate cancer, the greater the amount of TRPM8 protein. Recent studies have found that when TRPM8 is activated, it stops and kills cancer cells. However, there is another form of TRPM8 that does not allow the original TRPM8 to kill off the cancer cells and so the cancer grows. Dr. Ramachandran and his team want to study both versions of TRPM8 to see how one version regulates the other. This has the potential to help guide future treatments.

Gurmit Singh
Dr. Gurmit Singh, McMaster University, is one of 26 researchers across Canada receiving a Movember Discovery Grant, awarded by Prostate Cancer Canada. Dr. Singh’s research focuses on treating patients with prostate cancer who also suffer from a type of depression that is resistant to standard treatment. Dr. Singh and his team have found that cancer cells secrete glutamate, a chemical that induces such depression. Glutamate can initiate permanent changes in the brain and be a major contributing factor to depression. This study aims to modify the release of glutamate from cancer cells so that it does not have an effect on the body and no longer plays a role in inducing depression.



Jose Teodoro
Dr. Jose Teodoro, McGill University, is one of 26 researchers across Canada receiving a Movember Discovery Grant, awarded by Prostate Cancer Canada. Dr. Teodoro and his team have begun to work on a new test for diagnosing prostate cancer. Instead of looking at PSA levels, they will be looking for a biomarker called sPRR. A biomarker acts as a sign/indicator that doctors can look for specifically when diagnosing patients. If sPRR is present in the urine or blood, it is a strong indication that the patient has the potential to have aggressive prostate cancer. Being able to pinpoint aggressive prostate cancer will allow the most appropriate course of treatment to be selected.


 

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