Prostate cancer is the disease of the old, effecting 1 in 7 Canadians with a death burden of 1 in 28. The management of the disease becomes extremely difficult with the development of the nonresponsive and aggressive form of the cancer. Thus, the clinicians are rendered helpless and hence there is an urgent need for the development of new targeted therapies. Response to chemotherapy drugs varies for every individual, leading to adverse effects in many. Hence every individual responds to chemotherapy drugs differentially, matching the right dose for individual patient is a big challenge.
Prostate biopsies can be difficult to interpret using standard pathology techniques. Because cancer can be fatal, the development of technologies providing complementary information could improve current pathology practice resulting in improved patient outcome. Raman micro-spectroscopy is a molecular imaging technique using backscattered light following tissue laser excitation to indicate whether or not prostate samples contain cancer cells. However, this technique is very sensitive to the molecules in chemicals used to process tissue (e.g. paraffin), which greatly limits its efficacy.
A higher incidence of colon cancer is reported in populations consuming high amounts of red meat, as well as in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, where gut bacteria participate in the development of inflammation. We found that dietary supplementation with heme, an element found at high levels in blood, is detrimental to gut health and it fosters the growth of harmful bacteria. In this project, we propose to establish new procedures for both the manipulation of the gut bacteria (microbiota), as well as its characterization using a new state of the art sequencer.
Soft tissue sarcoma is a disease that affects patients of all ages and have profound societal impact. On average 17 life years per patients are lost due to sarcoma, which is 2-3 times more than bowel, lung, prostate or breast cancer. Patients with soft-tissue sarcoma represents one the top 5 most important cancer cause of average percent lifespan lost. Patient die of this cancer from distant metastasis. There are currently no method to determine who may benefit from chemotherapy to reduce the chance of developing metastasis.