International Research Breakthrough Helps Extend Patients’ Lives

Dr. Alison Allan

Donor support of the Catalyst Grants research program at London Regional Cancer Program provided seed funding to Dr. Alison Allan and her team and allowed them to be part of an international collaborative research project.

The collaboration between Dr. Allan’s team, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Royal Marsden and Epic Sciences proved that a blood test for patients with certain types of prostate cancer can accurately determine which treatment could extend their life. For someone with advanced prostate cancer who has run out of options, this test will provide clear direction for treatment and potentially more time with their family and loved ones.

No more guessing: The test uses circulating tumour cells (CTCs) to help determine what type of treatment will be most effective. CTCs are cancer cells that leave a tumour, enter the blood stream and invade other parts of the body, causing the spread of cancer.

“The study focused on a critical decision point when patients and their oncologists are choosing what therapy to pursue next,” says Dr. Alison Allan, Lawson Health Research Institute scientist and a national leader in the study of CTCs.

Dr. Allan’s initial research into CTCs was originally supported by donors to the Catalyst Grants program and community event fundraisers, proving that donor support can turn brilliant ideas into life-saving care for patients around the world.

Read the full story and watch the video by Lawson Health Research Institute