“Why did the tumour come back?”

Tenant invests in cancer research

That fundamental question from patients in his neurosurgery clinic at The Hospital for Sick Children underlines the most sinister aspect of cancer, says neurosurgeon Dr. Peter Dirks, and it drives his work as a scientist investigating cancer stem cells.

Yesterday, Dirks was among the representatives of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), outlining the broad vision for a combined $60 million full-court press on cancer at a news conference with the Minister of Research and Innovation John Wilkinson.

The ultimate goal of this work is to hone in on the specific biological markers of cells that give rise to tumours, to develop targeted new medicines and to deliver those therapies straight to the source, eradicating the roots of what is the leading cause of death in Canada.

It’s a monumental and exciting undertaking linking the efforts of leading-edge multidisciplinary teams of molecular biologists and biochemists, medical imagers, clinical trials specialists and many others provincewide — providing new hope for the 60,000 Ontarians diagnosed with cancer each year and resources to the scientists whose research will conquer it.

Read more about OICR’s programs at www.oicr.on.ca