Prostate Cancer

Cancer is commonly defined as the uncontrolled division of abnormal cells. When cells become aged or damaged, they are replaced with new cells. Sometimes the genetic material (DNA) of a cell can become damaged or altered, producing mutations that negatively affect cell growth and division. Prostate cancer may be slow growing, or it may be aggressive. When confined within the prostate or another organ, cancer is known to be “localized” or “organ-confined”. When cancer cells spread throughout the body (metastasize) via blood and lymph systems, they can become life threatening.

Prostate cancer is one of the leading forms of cancer diagnosed in North American men, typically in men over the age of 50. In its early stages, prostate cancer has no symptoms, which is why it’s important for men to have regular medical checkups. If diagnosed early, prostate cancer is often curable. Treatment can eliminate symptoms and prolong life expectancy.

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Risk Factors

There are several risk factors for prostate cancer, some modifiable, others not. These include:

  • Age – Prostate cancer is most commonly diagnosed in men over the age of 50.
  • Family History – Research shows an increased risk for prostate cancer in sons, brothers and fathers of men with the disease.
  • Genetics – Inherited gene changes may increase prostate cancer risk.
  • Diet – High fat, high calcium and high red meat diets may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • Ethnicity – Studies have shown that prostate cancer is more common in men of African ethnicity.

For more information about the prostate, visit the Prostate Cancer Canada website.

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