Bladder cancer researchers awarded $50,000 grant

Date Posted: 

TORONTO (DECEMBER 3, 2015) – Bladder Cancer Canada (BCC) has awarded its inaugural $50,000 Bladder Cancer Canada Research Grant to Dr. Alan So along with Co‐Investigator Dr. Claudia Chavez‐Munoz. They will be studying 3D Bioprinted Tissues: Building a novel platform for bladder cancer.

Bioprinting has the potential to revolutionise medical research well beyond what seemed possible even 20 years ago.

Dr. So is a Senior Research Scientist, Vancouver Prostate Centre and Associate Professor, Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia. His current research focuses on discovery and development of novel agents to treat bladder cancer.

Dr. Claudia Chavez‐Munoz is a Research Associate, Vancouver Prostate Centre. She has worked in the in the field of tissue engineering and regeneration, developing in‐vivo bioreactors for both skin and skeletal muscle regeneration. Her current research is in initiating tissue engineering on demand as a platform for cancer drug testing.

As part of its mission, Bladder Cancer Canada is committed to furthering research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer. BCC launched a competition this year for $50,000 in funding for a selected bladder cancer research project to be performed in 2016.  It hopes to fund additional research projects in the coming years.

BCC Executive Director Tammy Northam was pleased with the response to this initial research competition. “Remarkably, we received fifteen applications for our very first grant competition in bladder cancer. This response shows that there is a high level of interest in bladder cancer research.”

Bladder cancer is the 5th most common cancer in Canada – 4th for men and 12th for women. An estimated 2,300 Canadians will be newly‐diagnosed with bladder cancer this year. Bladder cancer is the most expensive cancer to treat on a per patient basis because of an 80% recurrence rate. Yet, at 20th out of the 24 most common cancers, research funding into this disease lags almost all other cancers.

According to the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance, in 2012 investment in bladder cancer research was approximately $1.1 million, less than ½ of 1% of total of cancers overall and down from 0.54% in 2008. Among a subset of 9 cancers with the highest combined proportion of new cases and deaths, bladder cancer remains the lowest in research dollars, next ranked being kidney cancer with $3.7 million in research in 2012 and highest being breast cancer at $75.9 million in 2012.

Contact Information
Tammy Northam, Executive Director, Bladder Cancer Canada
executivedirectoratbladdercancercanada [dot] org
4936 Yonge St., Suite 1000, Toronto, ON M2N 6S3

Charitable Reg. No: 83612 6060 RR0001

About Bladder Cancer Canada
Founded in 2009 by bladder cancer survivors, Bladder Cancer Canada is a nationally‐registered Canadian charity. Supported by a Medical Advisory Board and a Medical Research Board consisting of the top bladder cancer specialists across Canada, Bladder Cancer Canada aims to help bladder cancer patients and their support teams address the day‐to‐day issues of this disease, increase awareness among the general public and medical community and fund research which pursues the diagnosis, treatment and elimination of the disease.

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