Incidents of serious parasitic disease on the rise in Alberta

The province is now the North American hotspot for a rare, potentially fatal disease

Incidents of serious parasitic disease on the rise in AlbertaA rare parasitic infection imported from Europe continues to take root in Alberta. The province is now the North American hotspot for human alveolar echinococcosis (AE), which takes the form of a growth in the liver, causing serious and potentially deadly health complications. A recently published review of known AE cases in Alberta found 17 instances…

Next-generation genetic sequencing to detect pancreatic and biliary cancer

Nearly $1M awarded to seven new projects from U of A researchers focusing on cancer, pulmonary, diabetes and neurology research

Next-generation genetic sequencing to detect pancreatic and biliary cancerSeven new University of Alberta research projects focusing on cancer, pulmonary disease, diabetes and neurology are the latest recipients of funding from the 2020 Kaye Competition. The annual competition supports individuals and collaborative, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teams in the pursuit of research, innovation and quality-improvement programs and projects that seek to establish new approaches to patient…

Hearing loss caused by common childhood cancer drug targeted

Research may eliminate the toxic side-effect of cispaltin in childhood cancer survivors

Hearing loss caused by common childhood cancer drug targetedUniversity of Alberta scientists have identified a receptor in cells that could be key to preventing permanent hearing loss in childhood cancer survivors being treated with the drug cisplatin. The researchers believe that, by inhibiting the receptor, they may be able to eliminate toxic side-effects from the drug that cause the hearing loss. Cisplatin is…

Unique cardiac rehabilitation program gives cancer patients hope

Helps cancer patients who also face heart damage due to their treatment

Unique cardiac rehabilitation program gives cancer patients hopeAsk Paul Guenard how he’s doing, and he’ll tell you, “Not bad for a guy who’s supposed to be dead!” While he laughs as he says it, Guenard did indeed face death six years ago when he underwent a stem cell transplant to treat mantle cell lymphoma. Afterwards, he said, he felt so weak he…

Marker may predict response to cancer immunotherapy

Abundance of protein galectin-9 in cancer patients is associated with poor response to immunotherapy

Marker may predict response to cancer immunotherapyUniversity of Alberta researchers have uncovered a link between the expression of the protein galectin-9 (gal-9) and whether a cancer patient will benefit from immunotherapy. The discovery could help inform physicians about which patients will likely respond to immunotherapy and lead to better treatment options. Immunotherapy or biological therapy is the treatment of disease by…

3-D bioprinting successfully used to create nose cartilage

Searching for a better solution to a clinical problem facing many patients with skin cancer

A team of University of Alberta researchers has discovered a way to use 3-D bioprinting technology to create custom-shaped cartilage for use in surgical procedures. The work aims to make it easier for surgeons to safely restore the features of skin cancer patients living with nasal cartilage defects after surgery. The researchers used a specially…

Nanomedicine used to provide better outcomes during chemotherapy

Nanomedicine used to provide better outcomes during chemotherapyA University of Alberta researcher is using nanotechnology to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments for cancer patients and reduce their side effects. Afsaneh Lavasanifar is a professor in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences and an adjunct professor in the Department of Chemical and Medical Engineering. Her lab develops precision health solutions through nanomedicine,…

Innovative cancer therapy uses immune system to attack tumours

Re-engineers your immune system to target and attack cancer growing in your body

Innovative cancer therapy uses immune system to attack tumoursImagine if you could re-engineer your immune system to target and attack cancer growing in your body. A new clinical trial led by a clinician researcher at the University of Alberta is doing just that. Michael Chu, an assistant professor of oncology in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, is leading a project to manufacture and…

Muscle wasting syndrome cause of many cancer-related deaths

Project delves into how one growth hormone contributes to the problem and whether drugs can stop it

Muscle wasting syndrome cause of many cancer-related deathsResearchers are looking for ways to prevent or slow cachexia, a muscle-wasting syndrome thought to cause up to a third of the 80,000 deaths related to cancer every year in Canada. By understanding the role of activin A, a growth factor that contributes to muscle wasting, the team hopes their lab research will eventually help…

Research may help to accurately diagnose prostate cancer severity

Could predict which men are at risk of developing an aggressive form of the disease

Research may help to accurately diagnose prostate cancer severityScientists at the University of Alberta are part of a new research project to develop innovative precision diagnostics that could predict which men with prostate cancer are at risk of developing an aggressive form of the disease. The researchers will use germline sequencing (sequencing of the genes a person is born with) to determine which…

Safer source of islet cells targeted for people with Type 1 diabetes

U of A researchers are harnessing AI to analyze patients’ own cells to create islet cells for transplant

Safer source of islet cells targeted for people with Type 1 diabetesUniversity of Alberta researchers are harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to find a safer, more personalized source of islet cells to treat Type 1 diabetes. The research project, a collaboration between the departments of surgery and computing science, aims to use AI to analyze images to speed up the process and reduce the need for human decision-making…

Alberta not-for-profit runs cancer clinical trials around the world

Building on game-changing breast cancer trials, TRIO now testing drugs for breast, lung, ovarian, liver and gastrointestinal cancer

Alberta not-for-profit runs cancer clinical trials around the worldA not-for-profit research group with University of Alberta roots is quietly taking its place in the major leagues of global cancer drug testing. When promising new cancer treatments are ready for trial in humans, researchers from around the world turn to Edmonton-based TRIO (Translational Research in Oncology) to run their clinical trials. “It may seem like…

Ultrasound has potential for treating pain after chemotherapy

There may soon be a new option available to people experiencing sensory pain after chemotherapy

Ultrasound has potential for treating pain after chemotherapyTherapeutic ultrasound was a tool in Janice Yurick’s treatment arsenal for 15 years. Yurick, a now-retired physical therapist and former manager of supportive care services at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, Alberta had more than two decades of experience in oncology rehabilitation. She used the technology with patients and saw results, despite no actual…

Grads strive to improve care for LGBTQ2SPIA+ cancer patients

National survey identifies potential issues and areas for improvement among radiation therapy professionals

Grads strive to improve care for LGBTQ2SPIA+ cancer patientsA new study led by a group of recently graduated radiation therapy students at the University of Alberta shows that many in the profession feel more training is needed to properly care for cancer patients in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, two-spirit, pansexual, intersex, asexual, plus (LGBTQ2SPIA+) community. The team – Samantha Chan, Samie…

Pushing boundaries so women don’t have to ‘suffer in silence’

In honour of International Women’s Day, we celebrate three research-focused clinicians who are improving women’s health

Pushing boundaries so women don’t have to ‘suffer in silence’As the world marks International Women’s Day, we celebrate the scientists who are working to improve women’s health. More than 140 researchers are working on women, children’s and perinatal medicine through the Women and Children's Health Research Institute (WCHRI) at the University of Alberta, supported by the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation and the Stollery Children’s Foundation.…

Fruits, vegetables reduce risk of cancer from red, processed meats

Diet has the largest impact on chronic disease, including cancers

Fruits, vegetables reduce risk of cancer from red, processed meatsRecent research led by Katerina Maximova, an adjunct professor in the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health and member of the Cancer Research Institute of Northern Alberta, shows that low consumption of fruits and vegetables combined with a higher intake of processed meats is associated with greater incidence of cancer for Albertans. “It is generally accepted that…

New way identified to prevent breast cancer cells from evading therapy

Inhibiting the process that causes resistance in these cells improves the efficacy of immunotherapy, could mean better outcomes

New way identified to prevent breast cancer cells from evading therapyNew research at the University of Alberta has revealed a way to increase the sensitivity to immunotherapy of a rare type of cells within a tumour that are responsible for treatment resistance and breast cancer progression. The study, recently published in the journal Cancer Letters, could pave the way to better treatment outcomes for patients. The researchers…

World’s Longest Hockey Game moving cancer research closer to goal

Annual fundraising effort to support clinical trial of precision drug developed at U of A

World’s Longest Hockey Game moving cancer research closer to goalAs 40 local hockey players brave the elements on an outdoor rink just outside Sherwood Park, Alberta for the World’s Longest Hockey Game, they’ll be making a difference in the lives of cancer patients in Edmonton. Over the course of more than 10 days and nights of non-stop shinny, the game, which began on Feb.…

Collaboration key to solving medicine’s thorniest problems

A focus on teamwork and patient needs has led to breakthroughs in the search for cancer therapies, antivirals and safer drugs

Collaboration key to solving medicine’s thorniest problemsKhaled Barakat was stars-truck the first time he met Michael Houghton in 2012. He knew the U of A virologist and director of the Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute was renowned for discovering the hepatitis C virus and was likely to win a Nobel Prize (which Houghton eventually did in 2020). Barakat, a PhD in biophysics, landed an…

New drug offers hope for breast as well as blood cancers

New drug offers hope for breast as well as blood cancersOne more piece of the puzzle has fallen into place behind a new drug whose anti-cancer potential was developed at the University of Alberta and is set to begin human trials this year, thanks to newly published research. “The results provide more justification and rationale for starting the clinical trial in May,” said first author John Mackey,…

Landmark research could lead to better understanding of diseases

Answer to a fundamental question that has eluded scientists since the discovery of DNA

Landmark research could lead to better understanding of diseasesUniversity of Alberta researchers have found an answer to a fundamental question in genomic biology that has eluded scientists since the discovery of DNA: Within the nucleus of our cells, is the complex package of DNA and proteins called chromatin a solid or a liquid? In a study published in the journal Cell, the research team, led…

Website provides resources, support for LGBTQ2+ cancer patients

U of A faculty educator and two collaborators saw a need and worked to create a supportive space

Website provides resources, support for LGBTQ2+ cancer patientsCancer doesn’t discriminate, but the health-care system sometimes does. There’s a marked gap in information when it comes to resources and peer-support services tailored to LGBTQ2+ people. That need in the system is what prompted a University of Alberta faculty educator and collaborators to launch a new website, called Queering Cancer, aimed at closing the…

Why radio frequencies can be a health issue

The higher the frequency, the more energy the wave contains and, thus, the more risk it might have for human health

Why radio frequencies can be a health issueThe word radiation conjures up images of the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima or the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster. Our society has a strong, and not unreasonable, fear of nuclear radiation. These fears are founded on a bedrock of experience. It starts with Marie Curie, the scientist who discovered the property of radioactivity…

Stem cell study identifies enzyme with potential for cancer treatment

Research on how stem cells develop and differentiate in fruit flies has implications for human health

Stem cell study identifies enzyme with potential for cancer treatmentScientists have found a new mechanism responsible for regulating stem cells in fruit flies, with possible implications for cancer therapies. The study, published by University of Alberta biologists, identifies an inhibition mechanism of an enzyme called Myt1 kinase, which manages how stem cells develop and differentiate during organ development in fruit flies. “In addition to…

Low muscle mass predicts poor outcomes in colon cancer surgery

New U of A study suggests interventions to help patients build muscle before surgery may improve their outcomes

Low muscle quality and quantity are predictive of poor outcomes in colon resection surgery, according to a new study published in JAMA Surgery. Carla Prado, a researcher in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, and her team followed 1,630 patients who received a diagnosis of Stage I to Stage III colon cancer. The…

New treatment for blood cancer developed

U of A research sets the stage for imminent human trials of B-cell lymphoma treatment

New treatment for blood cancer developedScientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published recently in Nature Communications. The University of Alberta research team led by Luc Berthiaume, cell biology professor in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, spent four years working to…

Report card evaluates influences on children’s healthy food choices

Poor diet right behind tobacco consumption as leading cause of premature death for Canadians, says public health expert

Report card evaluates influences on children’s healthy food choicesEverything from advertising to school cafeteria menus can affect whether children develop lifelong healthy eating habits, according to the sixth annual Nutrition Report Card for Alberta. The report evaluates 39 indicators in five food “environments” – physical (what food is available?), economic (how affordable is healthy food?), communication (what messages are children getting about food through…

Why tumour cells become resistant to chemotherapy

U of A team discovers new mechanism that could lead to better treatments for breast cancer patients

Why tumour cells become resistant to chemotherapyA team of University of Alberta researchers has identified a new mechanism through which tumour cells become resistant to chemotherapy – a discovery that could lead to better treatments for women with breast cancer. Michael Jewer, a post-doctoral researcher in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, said that more than 20 per cent of breast cancer…

Little evidence vitamin D prevents severe COVID-19

Getting too much vitamin D can also cause health problems, says U of A pediatric kidney specialist

Little evidence vitamin D prevents severe COVID-19At the beginning of May, a pair of studies emerged suggesting people who are deficient in vitamin D are more likely to experience serious health complications if infected with COVID-19. Sales of the micronutrient soared as a scared public tried to gain any advantage they could over the virus. Unfortunately, University of Alberta pediatrics professor Todd…

Protein causes mutations that lead to breast cancer cell aggression

U of A researcher uncovers new mechanism for why a particular biomarker is linked with poor outcomes in certain patients

Protein causes mutations that lead to breast cancer cell aggressionLike most scientists, University of Alberta biochemist Ing Swie Goping is curious. When her team discovered that a protein was associated with poor outcomes in breast cancer patients, she wanted to know why. Now, that curiosity has led to the discovery of a new mechanism for how certain breast cancers develop, which could one day…