Dollars at work
Since 2009, The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer has raised over $60 million for The Alberta Cancer Foundation. The Ride to Conquer Cancer series is Canada’s largest peer-to-peer fundraising event.
Funds raised through Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer enable the Alberta Cancer Foundation to support breakthrough cancer research, clinical trials, enhanced care and the discovery of new cancer therapies at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Cross Cancer Institute and 15 other centers across Alberta.
As the largest cancer foundation in Alberta, The Alberta Cancer Foundation’s vision is to achieve a cancer-free future, by investing in cancer prevention and screening, enhanced care and research across Alberta.
Funds raised through the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer are powering Research, Clinical Trials and Enhanced Care Programs.
Trials underway examine the efficiency of: hormone therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy, combinations of treatments, and exploring new, less invasive methods of surgery.
- Brain Cancer Research:Glioblastoma is the most common and deadly form of brain cancer among adults. The progression and complexity of the tumours are often difficult to treat and the median survival for patients is 15 months, with less than five per cent of patients surviving beyond five years.
Researchers in Calgary are currently leading an $8.2-million drug discovery project. Thanks in part to funds from the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, we are working to identify new drug discoveries that have a chance to make a difference for glioblastoma patients in Alberta and around the world.
- Breast Cancer Research: Every day, 6 Albertans are diagnosed with breast cancer. Funds from the Ride will support ground-breaking research looking to identify biomarkers that could help medical teams determine the best treatment for each patient at the right time.
- Colorectal cancer research: In 2017, nearly 2500 Albertans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Current treatments work well, but we still lose too many people to this disease and can do better. Funds from the Ride will be support a research program that will develop new drugs to block the ability of tumours to resist radiation and chemotherapy by repairing their DNA. Nanocarriers will deliver drugs to tumour tissues where they can increase the potency of the treatment but spare healthy tissue, improving treatment success and quality of life.
- Patient Navigator Program: There are 15 Alberta Cancer Foundation Patient Navigators in rural communities across the province to guide patients through the health system. The navigators support patients and families through the complex cancer journey, and understand additional challenges rural Albertans face with a cancer diagnosis. Because of support from the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, Alberta Cancer Foundation Patient Navigators supported almost 5,000 patients in rural Alberta last year, with 17,000 recorded visits to discuss a myriad of cancer-related issues, resulting in a reduction of emergency room and physician visits across the province.
- Prostate Cancer Research: In Alberta, one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. If detected early, prostate cancer is one of the most successfully treated cancers. Funds from the Ride will assist Dr. John Lewis to research a biomarker that accurately predicts whether prostate cancer patients are at risk of metastasis and ultimately, will assist in developing the best treatment plan for each patient.
- Ovarian Cancer Detection: The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer will help a team of scientists who are challenging ovarian cancer and looking to identify ways to detect cancerous cells earlier. Currently, Dr. Postovit is working to create a test women can do at their regular check- ups showing a marker that helps predict if an ovarian cancer is there. Not only will this test improve patient outcomes but will also provide patients with what matters most: more moments with their loves ones.
- Head and Neck Cancer Therapies: Swallowing disorders affect 70 per cent of patients with head and neck cancer, which can lead to a dependence on tube feeding, affecting social interactions and overall quality of life. The current therapy required is time and labour intensive for both patient and therapist. A research team in Edmonton is testing a mobile app that will receive information from a simple adhesive pad under patients’ chins, and instantly share that feedback with clinicians. This will enhance patient quality of life, as they can receive treatment from the comfort of their home. The goal is to have this device in clinical trials within two years.
- Lung Cancer Screening Program: This year alone, nearly 2000 Albertans are expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer. Sadly, 1700 will die. So far, no Canadian province has a lung cancer screening program. With help from the Ride, Alberta hopes to be the first, launching a province-wide screening program that best determines who to screen and when, saving many Albertans’ lives.
No matter where a patient faces a cancer diagnosis in this province, we want to ensure they receive the best possible treatment and care. Alberta Cancer Foundation donors and funds from the Ride enable local support at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton and 15 other cancer centres around the province. These investments offer patients and families enhanced care, over and above what is typically provided and may include comfortable reclining chemo chairs, vital sign machines in clinic rooms, patient journals, blanket warmers during radiation treatment or advanced training for staff that helps improve patient care and quality. Programs include:
- Alberta Cancer Foundation Patient Navigators - There are 15 Alberta Cancer Foundation Patient Navigators in rural communities across the province who assist patients who are struggling with the emotional, financial, and physical components of their diagnosis. They explain how treatment will work and understand additional challenges rural Albertans face with a cancer diagnosis. Since the program began Alberta Cancer Foundation Patient Navigators supported almost 5,000 patients in rural Alberta last year, with 17,000 recorded visits to discuss a myriad of cancer-related issues, resulting in a reduction of emergency room and physician visits across the province.
- Patient Financial Assistance Program - Cancer can be a huge strain on the finances. The costs can be so overwhelming that some patients will decide not to have life-saving therapy to save costs. The Ride will ensure the Alberta Cancer Foundation can continue to provide financial support to patients in need, easing their cancer journey. The Alberta Cancer Foundation Patient Financial Assistance Program covers costs such as housing, medication, transportation, and childcare. In the last year, the need for this program in Alberta has almost doubled.
- Patient Comfort - The Ride to Conquer Cancer will enable the Alberta Cancer Foundation to improve patient and family comfort by adding blanket warmers, privacy curtains, reclining treatment chairs and TVs in waiting rooms.