Project #8458

Are you ready to join the fight?

by Canadian Cancer Society
Tiffany Bond, HPV related cancer survivor
Tiffany Bond, HPV related cancer survivor

The Human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cancer in men and women and will infect 3 in 4 Canadians during their lifetime. Canadian Cancer Society staff and volunteers have been working closely with other stakeholders, Members of Provincial Parliament at Queen’s Park and across Ontario to expand the immunization program to include boys.

“The time between initial HPV infection and development of cancer is about 20 years,” explains Rowena Pinto, Vice President, Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. “We urge parents to get their sons and daughters vaccinated against HPV. It will help prevent them from getting cancer.”

HPV infection is associated with almost all cases of cervical cancer but the lesser known HPV-related cancers include anal, penile, vaginal and oral and oropharyngeal (head and neck) cancers. About one-third of oral and oropharyngeal cancers are caused by HPV and 89% of these are attributable to HPV types 16 & 18.

Canadian forecasts are not yet available, but the number of HPV-related head and neck cancer cases in the United States is expected to surpass cervical cancer within 4 years, underscoring the importance of including boys in school-based vaccination programs.

As part of the Society’s efforts to advocate for the inclusion of boys in the immunization program, a video featuring the story of Tiffany Bond, a cancer survivor whose type of throat cancer was caused by HPV, was released.

“When I was first diagnosed with oropharynx (throat) cancer it was a big shock. I had no idea it could be caused by the HPV virus,” says Bond, a Society volunteer. “After my near-death experience with the disease, I am thrilled that the government has taken this initiative. I just wish the vaccine was available to my son when he was younger. I would have had him vaccinated right away.”

Because of the long lead time, it may take several years before the full impact of HPV vaccination on the incidence and death rates of HPV-related cancers is established. Australia was one of the first countries to introduce a national HPV vaccination program for women 12 to 26. Three years later, the country is  already seeing a decrease in signs of early cervical cancer.

To learn more about cancer, HPV and the HPV vaccine, speak to one of cancer information specialists at 1 888-939-3333 or visit


Jack Shore, Prostate Cancer Survivor
Jack Shore, Prostate Cancer Survivor

“I’ll have this cancer for the rest of my life, so my quality of life has become a priority to me. I’m thankful that the Canadian Cancer Society funds research that is helping to improve treatment options for patients like me.”

-Jack, living with prostate cancer, Port Colborne, Canada

Jack's life turned upside down after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, the most common cancer among Canadian men. A 67 year old with a lifestyle of someone half his age, he boldly braved both surgery and radiation treatment, only to have his cancer return. Hormone therapy was Jack’s next treatment option, and though the injections slowed the growth and spread of cancer cells, they came with side effects such as weight gain, fatigue, and depression that drastically impacted his life.

A clinical trial supported by the Canadian Cancer Society is changing the length of time that men with prostate cancer require these injections. Work led by Dr Klotz and Dr Crook found that men who took breaks from hormone therapy lived as long as those receiving continuous therapy, reducing side effects and improving quality of life.

Thanks to donors like you, clinical trials are leading to improved treatment options, survival rates and overall well-being for the almost 200,000 people diagnosed with cancer in Canada each year – people like Jack.

With your ongoing support we can continue to fund Canada’s top research and clinical trials to provide Canadians living with cancer with a better quality of life. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of those facing cancer.

Cancer in Canada Infographic
Cancer in Canada Infographic
Logan- brain cancer survivor
Logan- brain cancer survivor

“When I heard the words; your daughter has a brain tumour, I remember feeling like everything was closing in on me. I was in a room full of doctors and they didn’t think that there was anything they could do.”

- Jennifer, mother of childhood brain cancer survivor

When Logan was eight years old, her parents were grief-stricken to hear she was diagnosed with a brain tumour and given a few weeks to a month to live. After 153 doses of chemotherapy, 31 rounds of radiation and multiple surgeries, Logan is now a healthy, cancer-free teenager with a spark for life.

Brain and spinal cord tumours are the most common cause of cancer death for children in Canada, and treatment can have devastating consequences for a child’s brain development. For Logan, the many daily challenges resulting from long-term negative side effects remind her each day of her fight against cancer.

Research funded by the Canadian Cancer Society aims to minimize the devastating effects of treatment for young patients like Logan. Society-funded researcher Dr Sorensen’s project on the adaptation and survival of tumour cells under stress, could lead to more effective and targeted treatment options for childhood brain cancer.

Thanks to donors like you, the Society can continue to fund innovative research toincrease the survival rates for children with brain cancer, and improve their quality of life for years to come.

With your ongoing support we can continue to fund Canada’s best and most innovative research – research that leads to prevention, earlier detection, better treatment and longer, healthier lives. To learn more, or make a donation visit 


Helene and Michael Hardy
Helene and Michael Hardy

“When my husband was hospitalized in May 2013, I was advised to take my 6-week compassionate leave so I could be with him as he wasn’t expected to live much longer. In August of the same year, Michael was still alive, albeit in a poor state, but my leave had run out. I had to go back to work. Death doesn’t happen on a schedule, and compassionate care benefits should support that.” – Helene Hardy

After being a caregiver for 8 years while her husband, Michael, fought cancer, Helene Hardy knows the importance of being there for loved ones in their time of need. The improved compassionate care benefit proposed this August will help more families care for their loved ones and puts a spotlight on health for the first time in this federal election campaign.

We encourage all federal parties to make health a priority in their election platforms.

A plan for a better compassionate care benefit, announced this August by the Liberal Party of Canada, will make essential financial support available to more families who are struggling to make ends meet while dealing with cancer and other critical illnesses.

“This announcement puts a spotlight on Canadians’ health needs for the first time in this campaign, nearly 3 weeks after it officially began, and starts a discussion that must grow over the next 2 months,” says Gabriel Miller, Director of Public Issues, Canadian Cancer Society. “This is a step forward in making sure caregivers receive the support, care and resources they need, and it’s a step all parties must now build on.”

As Canada faces a projected 40% increase in cancer cases over the next 15 years, we’ll need sustainable health systems that guarantee all Canadians have access to high-quality care in their homes and communities, outside of the hospital.

Your support allows us to continue our advocacy work to acheive our mission of eradicating cancer, and enhancing the lives of those living with cancer.

Thank you for joining us in the fight against cancer.

The Canadian Cancer Society Staff and Volunteers


Innovative Research
Innovative Research

"The Innovation Grant program really allows researchers to identify grants that would be best characterized as crazy, but not stupid." 

When it comes to the Society’s Innovation Grants, innovation is more than a name – it is a requirement.

“The innovation of each application is specifically assessed, as well as scientific merit and other important criteria,” explains Dr Sian Bevan, Director of Research, Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute. “These projects are based on high-risk ideas with the potential for high rewards.”

The program “really allows researchers to identify grants that would be best characterized as crazy, but not stupid,” says Dr Craig Thomas. A scientist at the National Centre for Advancing Translational Sciences, US National Institutes of Health, Dr Thomas is a 5-time volunteer grant reviewer for the Society, and a big fan of the Innovation Grants program.

“These are wonderful opportunities for researchers throughout Canada to put ideas down on paper that they would love for their colleagues – the people on the grant review panel – to take a look at and say, ‘wow, that’s outside the box.’”

The focus on innovation is paying off. Innovation Grant holders are already reporting discoveries in high-powered journals. The program’s success has inspired new i2I (Innovation to Impact) Grants, which allow scientists with significant Innovation Grant findings to take their ideas further.

Here are some Innovation Grant successes:

    • The rare and devastating pituitary blastoma (PitB) primarily affects infants – who are unable to communicate any symptoms that could lead to early diagnosis. Dr William Foulkes at Montreal’s Lady Davis Institute is tackling the genetics of the disease. He has published findings in Acta Neuropathol showing that gene mutations he is studying can be directly linked to the cancer. His work could lead to earlier detection of PitB and more effective treatment.
    • Colorectal cancer is responsible for the most Canadian cancer deaths, after lung cancer, but we know little about its causes. Dr Stephen Girardin at University of Toronto is studying the protein NLRX1, which is connected to colorectal cancer. Recently, he reported in the Journal of Biological Chemistry that NLRX1 levels are controlled by glucose (sugar), indicating that NLRX1 is linked to energy metabolism, which is altered in cancer cells. His team further determined that this protein regulates the death of cancer cells. This is essential new information about the processes that lead to colorectal cancer.
    • Some cancers are so difficult to treat because of the strategies used by cancer cells to avoid normal cell death. Dr Robert Korneluk at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa published a paper in the prestigious journal Nature Biotechnology, reporting on his development of a new treatment that in mouse models caused tumours to shrink and extended survival. The treatment combines 2 types of drugs: one that counteracts a protective mechanism used by cancer cells and one that kills them more effectively. As both drugs are already being independently tested, this combined treatment should pass through regulatory channels much more quickly than an entirely new drug.
    • The study of the genetics of cells within tumours is a complex area of research. Dr Sohrab Shah at University of British Columbia has published a paper in Nature Methods describing a new innovative research tool he has developed. Called PyClone, it can organize gene mutation data about tumours and project characteristics of those tumour cells, such as the ability to spread or resist drugs.
    • Lung cancer is difficult to diagnose in its early stages, when treatment could be most effective. Dr Igor Stagljar at University of Toronto has published a paper in Nature Methods outlining a new method he has devised to identify molecular-level processes leading to non-small cell lung cancer. This is a tremendous step toward developing new diagnostic tools and treatments for lung cancer.
    • Depriving cancer cells of the food they need to survive is one path scientists are exploring to fight the disease. Dr Poul Sorensen at University of British Columbia published a paper in Cell about his investigations into how cancer cells adapt to the stress caused by nutrient deprivation, so that counter-tactics can be developed. His work suggests that the protein eEF2K is a clear target for drug development as its absence makes cancer cells less able to survive nutrient stress.



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Organization Information

Canadian Cancer Society

Location: Toronto, Ontario - Canada
Website: http:/​/​​
Canadian Cancer Society
Project Leader:
Yolande Usher
Toronto, Ontario Canada

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