Who in Canada doesn't know someone who has cancer? This country's cancer rates are staggering; the disease is non-discriminating. There seems to be nothing we can do about it.
Of course that's not true. Behind the scenes, numerous cancer researchers - including Canada Research Chair Dr. David Waisman - are looking for ways to call a halt to this terrible disease and their discoveries and successes are accumulating.
An expert in cancer progression, Waisman studies tumour growth, invasion, and metastasis, the leading cause of cancer death. He focuses on the conversion of a tumour from benign to malignant. This progression involves activation of a genetic program, which results in tumours invading the tissues and metastasis to other organs. Scientists have already identified two pivotal proteins as participants in the process. Waisman is now investigating how they work.
Tumour growth also requires recruitment of a blood supply by the tumour. Again, scientists have identified a novel compound that blocks the development of a tumour's blood supply and Waisman is hard at work trying to identify how the compound's mechanism of action as well as the structural determinants responsible for its activity.
Canada is fortunate to have scientists like Waisman on the case.