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A hip honour

The Tragically Hip recognized by the Canadian Cancer Trials Group for supporting brain cancer research.

  • Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker of The Tragically Hip unveil a plaque honouring the band as Janet Dancey, Director of the Canadian Cancer Trials Group, and Lynne Hudson, President and CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society, look on. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
    Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker of The Tragically Hip unveil a plaque honouring the band as Janet Dancey, Director of the Canadian Cancer Trials Group, and Lynne Hudson, President and CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society, look on. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • Richard Reznick, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, speaks with Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker of The Tragically Hip at Tuesday's event to unveil a plaque honouring the band's efforts to raise funds for cancer research. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
    Richard Reznick, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, speaks with Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker of The Tragically Hip at Tuesday's event to unveil a plaque honouring the band's efforts to raise funds for cancer research. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • Chris O'Callaghan, Senior Investigator, Canadian Cancer Trials Group, talks about some of the research that is being done thanks to support from donors, including The Tragically Hip.  (Photo by Bernard Clark)
    Chris O'Callaghan, Senior Investigator, Canadian Cancer Trials Group, talks about some of the research that is being done thanks to support from donors, including The Tragically Hip. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • Gord Sinclair of The Tragically Hip speaks during Tuesday's event at the Canadian Cancer Trials Group office, where a plaque was unveiled in honour of the band's fundraising efforts. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
    Gord Sinclair of The Tragically Hip speaks during Tuesday's event at the Canadian Cancer Trials Group office, where a plaque was unveiled in honour of the band's fundraising efforts. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) recognized Kingston hometown heroes The Tragically Hip for their support of brain cancer research. A commemorative plaque was presented to the band on Tuesday in honour of their support for cancer clinical trials at the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG).

CCTG, housed at Queen’s University in Kingston, is supported by a core grant from the Canadian Cancer Society.

Since the announcement last year that The Hip’s frontman Gord Downie has glioblastoma (an aggressive form of brain cancer), many Canadians have shown their support through donations to CCS.

“The Canadian Cancer Society is very grateful to The Tragically Hip and their generous fans for this donation of $400,000 for brain cancer research,” says Lynne Hudson, CCS president and CEO. “Clinical trials offer hope for people with cancer and provide an opportunity for researchers to find better treatments for others in the future. CCS is proud to be able to support clinical trials at CCTG across the country through donations from the public.”

Clinical trials can help patients directly. For example, in collaboration with colleagues in Europe, CCTG conducted a trial to see if a chemotherapy drug called temozolomide along with radiation following surgery for glioblastoma could improve survival. The trial showed positive results, and this combination therapy is what Downie received at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.

Every day about 25 Canadians are diagnosed with some form of brain tumour. Glioblastoma is an aggressive disease and is the most common primary brain cancer in adults. Unfortunately, most adults with a diagnosis of glioblastoma survive only one to two years after diagnosis.

“This is a great example of the Faculty of Health Sciences’ vision in action: to ask questions, seek answers, advance care and inspire change,” says Richard Reznick, Dean of Health Sciences. “Queen’s is proud to serve as host to CCTG’s cutting edge research; it is humbling to have this research happening right in our own backyard.”

“As researchers, our greatest achievement is to see patients with cancer benefit from treatments that were proven effective by the work we do at CCTG,” says Janet Dancey, the group’s director. “Building on past international research successes, CCTG is looking at future clinical trials using promising treatments, including viral therapies and drugs to stimulate the immune system.”

Donations to the Canadian Cancer Society for brain cancer research allow researchers to make real and significant progress against this disease.