July 9th, 1971

Did you know that genes can be turned on and off? This is something that researchers in Montreal are currently working on with genes that contribute to aggressive forms of prostate cancer.

Gene On, Gene Off
Where The Money Goes
Here’s something you may not know: many prostate cancers do not spread (metastasize) outside of the prostate, and thus will not threaten the life of the patient. Unfortunately, because oncologists currently do not have reliable tools to distinguish between those prostate cancers that will remain in the prostate and those that will spread, many prostate cancers are treated more aggressively than is necessary.  With a Movember funded Pilot Grant, Dr. Maxime Bouchard, Ph.D, from McGill University in Montreal has identified that a gene called GATA3 is often turned off in prostate cancers that have metastasized.  This is a significant milestone in developing increasingly individualized cancer management and minimizing overtreatment.

Pilot Grants are a program run by Movember’s men’s health partner, Prostate Cancer Canada, which awards grants that could significantly advance the field of prostate cancer study. With these grants many novel ideas for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment have been funded and Dr. Bouchard’s findings are the result of one.

Data from analyzes showed that evidence that GATA3 is lost during the progression from benign to cancerous cells. This research confirmed the hypothesis that the loss of GATA3, or when it is turned off, is an important event that contributes to cancer progression. This is not only important for developing methods for prevention, but is also a promising marker for the identification of new tumours.
Each year funds raised during Movember help support the pilot grant program. In 2010 there were 18 grants awarded. More information on last year’s grant recipients is available here.

For more information about programs funded by Movember check here.