Researchers unite in fight against cancer

Scientists at the University of Windsor will join forces with Windsor Regional Hospital and the region’s health care community to create a united research group that aims to find new ways of treating and curing various forms of cancer.

The Windsor Cancer Research Group was officially launched at a formal event Friday. It unites academic researchers from the university’s Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Nursing, with clinical researchers in the cancer program at Windsor Regional Hospital, local oncologists and other health care professionals working in the field of cancer treatment and care.

“Working directly with clinicians in this region will mobilize our research efforts to most effectively benefit cancer patients,” said the group’s scientific director, UWindsor biology professor Lisa Porter. “This will help build a foundation of innovation and health care excellence right here in our community.”

Caroline Hamm, a medical oncologist at Windsor Regional Hospital and WCRG’s clinical director, said there are already many examples of collaborative research projects with the university, pharmaceutical companies, various other research groups and such partners as Detroit’s Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. Formalizing those relationships, she said, is the best way to expedite new treatment discoveries from the lab to the clinic.

“Cancer patients live longer today because of advancements stemming from research,” she said. “We’re excited to build and strengthen our current clinical trials and clinical research program to better serve the patients of this region.”

The group’s objectives include:

  • Building world renowned local cancer research programs
  • Developing novel clinical trials locally to advance cancer treatments and care
  • Growing collaborative cancer research networks with national and international partners
  • Developing industrial partnerships to advance the commercialization of novel research initiatives
  • Recruit and retain highly skilled and accomplished research professionals to the Windsor-Essex Region
  • Providing training opportunities for the next generation of local researchers and clinicians
  • Building local public education programs focused on cancer prevention, treatment and survivorship
  • Building local state-of-the-art facilities equipped with advanced technologies for cancer imaging and diagnostics

The group’s first initiative was the first WCRG Conference: Bridging Research and Hope, held at Caesars Windsor on Saturday, November 17. Visit the conference Web site for more information.

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