CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF RADIATION ONCOLOGY | RAZCER (Rapid Astraz. Page 1 of 2 October 14, 2011 10:30 AM - General - Awards - Health & Wellness
- Medical/ Pharmaceuticals
RAZCER (Rapid Astrazeneca and CARO Evaluation of Radio-modifiers) Awards Announced - Five Canadian CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF

Radiation Oncologists/Researchers Each Receive More on this organization
OTTAWA, Oct. 14, 2011 /CNW/ - Five leading Canadian radiation oncologists receive RAZCER Awards of $22,727 each for novel studies of radiation-drug interactions that have the potential to either protect normal tissues or sensitize tumours, and thus to enhance the effectiveness of radiation therapy for cancer patients. A selection committee of members of the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology (CARO) selected the 2011 recipients from among a field of 12 applicants. Astrazeneca provides the funds for the RAZCER Award as an educational grant. Dr. Bassam Abdulkarim, committee chair, explains, "The RAZCER Award program provides our CARO members with a highly-valued source of funding to study drugs or molecular inhibitors, which may or may not include Astrazeneca compounds. In vitro and in vivo pre-clinical studies are eligible, as are correlative studies tagged to Phase 0-III clinical The 2011 research initiatives include:
Dr. Shun Wong of Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, and his co-investigator, Dr.
Georg Bjarnason, medical oncologist, will conduct preclinical studies to determine how the circadian cycle can regulate
the brain response after radiation. They will further test if the neuro-hormone melatonin can confer protection against
cognitive dysfunction due to the effect of radiation on the brain.
Dr. Michael Milosevic of Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto is coordinating a combined endeavor by radiation
oncologists, medical oncologists and basic cancer researchers to better understand how a particular signaling pathway in cancer cells - the Hedgehog pathway, might influence the curability of cervix cancer with radiotherapy and new targeted drugs. • Dr. Té Vuong of Jewish General Hospital in Montreal is conducting a Phase II clinical study using Nimotuzumab - a new
antibody against an epidermal growth receptor, expressed strongly in squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal. The rationale is to use these antibodies as radiosensitizers with radiation therapy instead of conventional chemotherapy for cancer patients. If the results are positive, this could significantly improve the treatment therapeutic index with less treatment related toxicities. • Dr. Corinne Doll of the University of Calgary and Tom Baker Cancer Centre will evaluate important DNA damage and
repair proteins in locally advanced cervical cancer tumours to determine whether expression levels may predict response to chemoradiotherapy. Tumours with high expression levels of these proteins may respond to novel DNA repair inhibitors, which may improve patient outcomes. • Dr. Theodoros Tsakiridis of McMaster University and Juravinski Cancer Center in Hamilton will study whether the anti-
diabetic drug metformin can enhance the response of non-small cell lung cancer to radiotherapy. Lung cancer is a deadly disease that shows poor response to radiotherapy. Dr. Tsakiridis' laboratory produced evidence that metformin can work synergistically with radiotherapy in adenocarcinomas. In this study, his team will analyze in-depth the action of metformin in all histologies of non-small cell lung cancer. Marc Zarenda, Scientific Director Medical Affairs, states "Astrazeneca is extremely pleased to partner with the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology in facilitating these innovative research initiatives, studying various radiation-drug interactions in the pursuit of improved outcomes for cancer patients." "The RAZCER Award program is unique in Canada in focusing on improving the benefits and/or reducing the risks of radiation through the use of radio-modifiers," says Dr. Andrea Bezjak, CARO president, "This enables our members to continue to break new ground in the successful treatment of cancer." About the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology
Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology (CARO) - Association canadienne de radio-oncologie (ACRO) is a not- for-profit association with the mandate to represent and support its membership nationally and internationally, through the promotion of high standards of patient care in the practice of radiation oncology, support of excellence in professional standards, and promotion of radiation oncology research and education.
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF RADIATION ONCOLOGY | RAZCER (Rapid Astraz. Page 2 of 2 CARO is a partner with other disciplines in seeking to improve outcomes for cancer patients, and provides a consultative authority to oncology related agencies, academic institutions, and to the public in all matters pertaining to radiotherapy and oncology in Canada. For further information: About Astrazeneca
Astrazeneca is committed to the research, development and manufacturing of valuable prescription medicines. We have an extensive product portfolio spanning six therapeutic areas: gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, infection, neuroscience, oncology and respiratory. Astrazeneca's Canadian headquarters are located in Mississauga, Ontario, and a state-of-the art drug discovery centre is based in Montreal, Quebec. For more information, please visit the company's website at
For further information:
To interview award recipients: Contact J. McLarty, [email protected] 604.740.5839
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