Our Maraba virus cancer immunotherapy just got optioned by AbbVie. Partnering with AbbVie is designed to maximise the potential of our technology to help cancer patients by plugging into a massive existing infrastructure of hospitals and clinical trial networks across Canada and worldwide. You can read more about this here.
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Dr. Stojdl talked about our exciting research program that develops better treatments for childhood cancers in a special edition of Macleans Magazine. Also featured in the article was the daughter of NFL player, Devon Still, whose daughter, Leah, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma at the age of 4.
Our research on developing an oncolytic vaccine for brain cancer was profiled in the inaugaral newsletter of one of our top funding networks, BioCanRx. The article, "Finding the sweet spot: a tricky job for the right virus to treat brain cancer", is available here.
Hair Donation Ottawa, who are key supporters of our research, dropped by at the end of August to deliver a cheque for an amazing $114,149 from their year of hair donation fundraising. This money will fund research projects in the Stojdl lab at the CHEO Research Institute, and in the Bell lab at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. This research is focussed on designing and testing new ways to use cancer-killing viruses to stimulate a cancer patient's own immune system against their tumour(s).
Dr. Stephanie Swift represented the lab at the annual Three Strohm Sisters Foundation gala in New York. The Vice President of the foundation, Ed Strohm, a law enforcement officer in Long Island NY, helms a fundraising gala each year to benefit cancer research. The Three Strohm Sisters Foundation was founded in 1999 to honour Ed's three aunts, each of whom had cancer. Today, the foundation has raised more than $700,000 for cancer research, and has funded projects in Canada, the USA and the UK. This year, the recipient's were Dr. Stojdl at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (Canada) and Dr. Hogan at Stony Brook Children's Hospital (USA).
Our CCSRI-, Brain Canada- and BioCanRx-funded research was featured as an 'impact story' on the Candian Cancer Society website. Our research looks at designing new viruses to fight aggressive brain cancer. You can find the story online here.
Our newest clinical trial has treated its first cancer patient! We are now recruiting patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) at the Ottawa Hospital and the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton. The trial pairs our Maraba-MG1-MAGEA3 oncolytic vaccine with the immune checkpoint inhibitor, pembrolizumab (anti-PD-1). This approach aims not only to boost CD8+ T cells against the cancer-associated tumour antigen, MAGE-A3, but also to support their ongoing anti-cancer activity in a highly immunosuppressive tumour microenvironment. Read more here.
The Stojdl lab has been awarded $2.2M from OICR to open its first standalone clinical trial! The trial will use a Farmington virus vaccine, which has been developed and tested in the lab over the last 10 years, as a treatment for patients with brain cancer.
This oncolytic virus immunotherapy has been carefully designed to not only kill cancer cells directly, but also to activate the patient's own immune system against their tumour. The trial is scheduled to open in Fall 2018.
Read more about this news here.
The Stojdl Lab is a proud recipient of a $10,000 donation from the Miracle Marnie foundation in support of our oncolytic virus immunotherapy research program. Created to honour their daughter, Marnie, the foundation supports families and funds childhood cancer research, with a specific focus on brain cancer.
With thanks to Thomas Geniole (Marnie's father) and his board of directors for supporting our research at CHEO.