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CCTG brain cancer trial awarded CCS Breakthrough Grant

$1,549,130 over 5 years to join the LUMOS2 international trial

Canadian Cancer Society announces details of research funding for low-survival cancers, the CCTG Breakthrough Grant Application lead by Dr Marshall Pitz, has received $ 1,549,130 over 5 years.

Brain cancers that are classified as grade 2 or 3 gliomas are incurable and when they recur after treatment, the lack of effective therapies for these hard-to-treat cancers leads to very poor outcomes. With the 5-year survival rate after recurrence approaching 0%, there is an urgent need for new, effective therapies. Currently, there are no clinical trials in Canada testing new and promising treatments at the time of recurrence. 

Dr Marshal Pitz Prinicpal Investigator
Study Principal Investigator Dr Marshall Pitz

With funding from the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and Brain Canada, this research team is joining forces with the Australian Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (COGNO) to open enrollment to Canadian patients to the LUMOS2 international study. The researchers will identify novel tumour markers that could be targeted with new treatments to dramatically improve patient outcomes.

"This is an exciting opportunity for us to test new treatments for patients with brain tumours. In particular this disease affects young adults by substantially reducing their survival and quality of life, so any improvements we may see can be profoundly impactful," says study Principal Investigator Dr Marshall Pitz, a Medical Oncologist at CancerCare Manitoba and Professor of Medicine, University of Manitoba. "The grant funding helps to solidify a partnership with Australia and provides us with the ability to bring this trial and these novel treatments to Canadian patients."

Taking a person-centred approach, the Team Grants were co-developed and reviewed in partnership with patients, survivors and caregivers and patient perspectives will be integrated throughout the lifecycle of the trial. The CCTG team includes the chair of our patient representative committee, Judy Needham, and brain cancer patient representative Catherine Wreford.

Patient Representative Catherine Wreford
Patient Representative Catherine Wreford

"This is the trial I have been hoping for since I was diagnosed with Brain Cancer nearly 10 years ago," says CCTG patient representative Catherine Wreford. "Too many people have been lost to re-occurrence and this is a step in the right direction. Research works and now we have the grant to move forward to test new treatments."

If successful, the outcomes could lead to a paradigm shift in patient survival and quality of life.

The grants program – called the CCS Breakthrough Team Grants: Transforming Low-Survival Cancers – represents the largest ever collective effort in Canada focused on changing outcomes for pancreatic, esophageal, brain, lung, liver and stomach cancers.

"These 6 cancers are claiming far too many lives, and we need to invest in research to change this," says Dr Stuart Edmonds, Executive Vice-President, Mission, Research and Advocacy at CCS. "Our goal is to support breakthroughs so fewer people die from these cancers and so that those living with or beyond them experience an improved quality of life." 



Co-Principal Investigators
  • Rebecca Harrison, BCCA - Vancouver
  • Chris O'Callaghan, Queen's University
  • David Roberge, Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal
  • Jennifer Chan, University of Calgary
  • Keyue Ding, Queen's University (CCTG)
  • Harriet Feilotter, Queen's University (CCTG)
  • Hui Gan, Austin Health
  • Eng-Siew Koh, University of South Wales
Patient, Survivor and Caregiver
  • Judy Needham (CCTG)
  • Catherine Wreford (CCTG)