Three major projects fighting breast cancer are getting an extra $10 million in funding from the Canadian Cancer Society and other partners.
The projects are a 3D printer that can reproduce a tumour from the cells of breast cancer patients, an initiative to use artificial intelligence to predict chemotherapy needs, as well as one to repair DNA to develop new drugs.
Researchers and patients are excited about the funding injection.
"The 3D printer remakes this tumour microenvironment in the same manner as it exists in the patient," said Morag Park of the Goodman Cancer Research Centre Director. "It's this reconstituted tumour that allows us to test new drugs and therapies."
Mei-Lin Yee knows firsthand how critical the new developments are.
Ten years ago, she was diagnosed with a triple-negative breast cancer.
"Over a period of five years, I had 174 chemo treatments and over five different lines of chemotherapy as the doctors tried to figure out which chemo would be able to work for me," she said.
They're all grateful and optimistic.
"Without that money, we go nowhere," said Alain Nepveu of the Goodman Cancer Research Centre. "It does cost money to buy these libraries, to rent the robot that does the work, to have the experts that run the robots, to have the biochemist in the lab to analyze the results."
"This will be uplifting, and this will give hope," Yee said. "Really, that's what it's all about. It's not only finding effective treatments, but also giving hope to people as they deal with the disease."