Translational Research

Translational Research

Translational research transforms scientific discoveries arising from fundamental studies into clinical applications to improve outcomes for patients with prostate cancer. Members of this team work together to employ innovative new technologies for biomarker discovery, detection and quantification that have been developed independently in internationally-recognized efforts in Alberta and bring them to bear on a common goal – developing better tests for prostate cancer.

The combination of prognostic biomarkers from distinct aspects of prostate cancer progression resulted in a test that is more sensitive, more accurate and more cost effective than current tests for prostate cancer.

Our overall goal is to improve patient outcomes and quality of life by translating novel tests to the clinic that are more sensitive, more accurate and more cost-effective than current tests for prostate cancer. No one dies from prostate cancer that is localized to the prostate – the spread, or metastasis, of prostate cancer is what makes it so dangerous. The five year survival rate for localized prostate cancer in North America is close to 100%, yet this drops to 30% for metastatic disease. The metastasis of prostate cancer is driven primarily by changes in growth factors, extracellular proteases, and the cell migration machinery. Biomarkers that are involved in these processes are prognostic for metastatic prostate cancer and their integration into a single powerful test are the focus of this multi-disciplinary team.

Our team is integrating internationally-recognized efforts in the characterization of tumour cell migration, growth factor signaling and protease-activated receptors to develop novel multiplex tests to more accurately predict outcomes in prostate cancer.

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Dr. John Lewis recognized for a breakthrough innovation with commercial application: ClarityDX Prostate

Alberta’s life sciences industry association; BioAlberta, hosted its 2018 awards gala in Calgary, September 24. BioAlberta honoured Dr. John Lewis, the Frank and Carla Sojonky Chair in Prostate Cancer Research and an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta, with its Scientific Achievement and Innovation Award.

The Scientific Achievement and Innovation award recognizes an individual or a team responsible for a breakthrough innovation with commercial application. John Lewis and his research team based with his spin-off company Nanostics Inc. developed ClarityDX Prostate, a blood test designed to accurately diagnose aggressive prostate cancer. ClarityDX Prostate will give clinicians and physicians another tool to help them and their patients decide to perform a biopsy, or not. When the test becomes commercially available it is expected to reduce the number of prostate biopsies by 50%.

BioAlberta also gave out The Company of the Year award to Circle Cardiovascular Imaging Inc. for significant achievement within the marketplace and Alberta’s business community. It has developed technology to produce an innovative post-processing cardiovascular imaging solution to improve patient outcomes that provides fast, accurate and reproducible images to assist physicians in earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Mel Wong, President and CEO of BioAlberta presented the awards with these comments, “We commend Circle Cardiovascular Imaging and Dr. John Lewis for their exceptional achievements in life sciences, Alberta’s life sciences industry is maturing and these award winners exemplify Alberta’s capacity for global impact.”

More than 200 representatives from industry, the investment community, government and innovation support organizations attended the awards gala that was held in partnership with TEC Edmonton, and with generous event sponsors. Read more in this Financial Post article.

Congratulations to John Lewis on receiving BioAlberta’s Scientific Achievement and Innovation Award!

- Perrin Beatty