Terminating cancer

Canada and California come together over stem cell research

Last week, a bold initiative brought together the world’s leaders in cancer stem cell research. The Governments of Canada and California announced a major three-year research agreement to begin a common search for ways to evaluate, fund and monitor cancer stem cell research projects.

Minister Tony Clement (Canadian Minister of Health) pledged $100 million over three years to the Cancer Stem Cell Consortium (CSCC). The CSCC will collaborate closely with the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

Governor Schwarzenegger (California) stressed the importance of international research collaborations such as this one for CIRM to overcome major health issues. These views were echoed by Dr. Alan Trounson, President of CIRM. “One of CIRM’s primary goals is to accelerate the field of stem cell research as a whole. In some instances we can do this more effectively through collaborations that involve the best scientific endeavors, regardless of geography. Through this relationship, CIRM money will continue to be earmarked only for research that takes place within California, but our funding can be significantly leveraged to accelerate the clinical benefits for patients. Coordinating our joint efforts in cancer stem cell research through collaborative programs with our colleagues in Canada will enhance the opportunities to contain and to prevent recurrence of certain cancers.”

This is the second major announcement for cancer stem cell research involving Canada and California. In 2007, Premier McGuinty and Gov. Schwarzenegger announced the beginning of this international partnership.