Skip to content

Witnessing miracles unfold

Cure Cancer Foundation event supports cutting-edge cellular therapy research

I received a call last summer to get involved with the Cure Cancer Foundation (CCF). They host an event called the Toast of The Town, held last Saturday, identifying a key contributor to our community, and celebrating them while raising funds for cancer research. For Saturday's event, they selected Cal Nichols to be celebrated, and I was immediately in, as Cal is a good friend and without Cal and his wife Edna, there would be no Edmonton Oilers in town today. Hard to imagine!

Thanks to Cal and his many friends and supporters, close to $450,000 was raised for the cause.

In the vast expanse of medical research and treatment, few challenges loom as large and formidable as cancer. A diagnosis is a watershed moment for all, marking the intersection of fear, uncertainty, and hope.

"What we do today saves lives tomorrow." These words encapsulate a profound urgency, a rallying cry to revolutionize the landscape of cancer care.

Dr. Michael Chu, clinician scientist at the Cross Cancer Institute, articulates this mission with poignant clarity: "Our goal is to ensure as many patients as possible have access to this potentially life-saving therapy and we can truly change the treatment options for generations to come."

At the heart of this endeavour lies cellular immunotherapy therapy. In Alberta, pioneering research led by Dr. Chu has already illuminated the path forward. Through CAR T-cell therapy, we have witnessed miracles unfold as patients, once deemed beyond salvation, find renewed hope and vitality. We heard from one patient who was in the final stages of moving into hospice when he was added to the last spot in a trial. Today, he is cancer-free. Absolutely incredible.

Some 23,000 Albertans will face a cancer diagnosis this year alone. Among these daunting figures lies an opportunity to rewrite the narrative of cancer care, to defy the odds, and to offer a lifeline to those in the throes of despair. Did I mention it is right here in Alberta?

The plan for this vision is to establish the infrastructure for cellular therapy research and manufacturing right here in Alberta. They have a blueprint for progress — the road map to empower clinicians and researchers to push the boundaries of conventional treatment modalities. Through the development of a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility and a comprehensive research lab, we will harness the full potential of cellular therapies, bringing hope within reach for patients across Alberta.

Yet, the aspirations extend beyond the confines of the here and now. The vision is a future where cancer is not merely treated, but conquered — a future where precision medicine reigns supreme, tailored to the unique genetic makeup of each individual. To achieve this lofty ambition, we must cultivate a team of skilled professionals, dedicated to the relentless pursuit of innovation and excellence.

In this journey, Alberta stands poised at the precipice of greatness, of possibility. With unwavering resolve and steadfast commitment, Dr. Chu, Dr. Sandhu, and their teams can transform the landscape of cancer treatment, not only within our borders but across the globe.

What an incredible event, with 320 community leaders coming together to honour Cal Nichols and celebrate what is worldleading research coming to fruition. If you can help, every dollar directed to these brilliant doctors is going to save countless lives, maybe yours and mine. Check us out

It is a momentous opportunity, for the sake of every Albertan touched by the scourge of cancer, and for future generations yet unborn.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks