Two Exciting New Research Projects
The Desmoid Tumour Foundation of Canada team would like to thank you for your outstanding contributions from the first ever annual event last May. We are beyond thrilled to have exceeded our goal and are pleased to announce that $70,000 will be allocated to research! Over the past couple of weeks, the medical advisory board met and have decided to fund two new research projects, that are very encouraging to pave the way for a cure.
- Duke University – Creation of New Mouse Models
This exciting project, will be creating new mouse models that replicate the specific molecular genetics of the more common types of desmoid tumours. These animals will be made available, not just in Canada, but to researchers throughout the world! By using these genetically advanced mouse models, researchers can work on them to better understand how desmoid tumours grow and to test new drugs and other therapeutic approaches.
- Hospital for Sick Kids – Studying the interaction between mutant desmoid cells and normal cells
To learn how to stop a desmoid tumour from growing, means we need to understand how the tumour cells interact with their neighboring normal cells, called stromal cells. In desmoid tumours, it is hard to differentiate the tumour cells from the normal cells because both populations originate from the same family of cells, called mesenchymal cells. After analyzing several desmoid tumour samples, researchers have found an interesting fact; the total tumour mass is actually made up of a high population of NON-mutant cells. It is the INTERACTION between these two types of cells that has researchers intrigued because this interaction somehow controls tumour progression and how a tumour responds to treatment. Disrupting this tumour-normal cell interaction provides new avenues for targeted therapy as is now recognized in other cancers, such as breast and lung cancers. With the help of our donated funds, investigators have created newly developed cell cultures, where they can test different drugs in the hopes of disrupting this cell-cell interaction, which will help identify new treatments.
We are pleased to announce that at the beginning of May we will be hosting our 2nd annual fundraising event!
NEW Facebook Support Group
Hello all Desmoidians! We are pleased to announce that the DTFC has created a closed Facebook Support Group. This group has been created for you and your families. After hearing from a number of Desmoidians, we have learned that you would like to talk amongst other Desmoidians from across Canada, to connect and share your journey and stories. We are encouraging you to join the “Canadian Desmoid Support Group”. Please find us on our Website or Facebook page by clicking on the link.
The Desmoid Tumour Foundation of Canada (DFC) is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to funding research for a cure for desmoid tumours.DFC was founded in 2016, motivated by a personal connection to the disease. Thanks to the benefits of research underway through the US foundation DTRF, we have seen improvements but there is more to be done.
Our goal in Canada is to raise funds for research as well as to provide a framework for a support network for those affected.
DFC is the only Canadian foundation dedicated to funding desmoid tumour research and finding a cure for this rare disease.
Research seeks to determine what goes wrong in cells to generate these tumours, what medical and surgical options work best, and what existing drugs or potential new drugs could provide effective treatments.
DFC supports the collaboration between researchers from different institutions to expedite the development of a cure. Discoveries made through desmoid tumor research can also potentially be applied to many other kinds of cancers.
Our Medical Advisory Board
DFC is supported by medical experts to help direct funding and research strategies to enhance the research activity in desmoids.
- Dr. Abha Gupta, MD, MSc, FRCP (Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, UofT; Staff Oncologist, Solid Tumour Program, Hospital for Sick Children; Staff Oncologist, Sarcoma Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre; Medical Director, Adolescent & Young Adult Program, PMCC; Co-Medical Director, Fertility Preservation Program, Sickkids)
- Dr. Rebecca Gladdy, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS (Assistant Professor, General Surgery, UofT; Staff Surgeon, General Surgery, Mount Sinai Hospital; Staff Surgeon, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PMCC); Associate Member, Lunenfeld-Tannenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System)
- Dr. Benjamin A. Alman, MD (Chair of Orthopedic Surgery; Professor, Cell Biology, Pediatrics, Department of Pathology, Duke University School of Medicine & Health System)
- Dr. Martin Blackstein, MD, FRCP(C) (Retired Oncologist, Mt Sinai Hospital & Princess Margaret Hospital)
- Dr. Ken Croitoru, MD, MDCM FRCP(C) (Professor of Medicine and Immunology, UofT; Division of Gastroenterology, Mount Sinai Hospital)
- David Croitoru, MD candidate 2017 (UofT Faculty of Medicine; desmoid patient)