Last fall,  CNETS Canada announced a new NET Research Funding Framework as well as research funding priorities for 2016 to provide grant-in-aid for two projects up to a maximum of $40,000 per project.

For 2016, the research funding priorities were determined through consultation with the NET patient community, and input from CNETS Canada’s Scientific and Medical Advisory Board (SMAB).   The highest ranking priority project was to examine issues relevant for 68Gallium PET Diagnosis and 177Lutetium Peptide Receptor-based Radionuclide Therapy (PRRT) for the Neuroendocrine tumors.

In support of this initiative CNETS Canada issued a call for funding applications in February 2016.  We received several applications and the review and recommendation process was carried out by a Grant Review Committee, chaired by CNETS Canada Vice-President, Dr. Jean-Luc Urbain and composed of one patient, two members of the CNETS Canada Scientific & Medical Advisory Board, in addition to an oncologist and a radiologist who are not directly related to CNETS Canada.  Proposals were assessed on medical and scientific merits and overall value proposition to CNETS Canada’s research grant goals and objectives for 2016.

CNETS Canada is delighted to announce the 2016 Neuroendocrine Tumour Research Grant Recipients:

Dr. Mathieu Beauregard, Université Laval, Quebec City. PARP-inhibitor radiosensitization in 177Lu-octreotate PRRT of neuroendocrine tumors.  

Description of the research: Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) often present at an advanced stage when cure is not possible with surgery. For patients suffering from advanced NETs, peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) is a NET-specific treatment involving the administration of a radioactive drug that specifically recognizes these tumors and delivers a payload of radiation that can destroy them. Although PRRT is one of the most effective treatments against NETs, cure remains rare because the amount of radiation that could be delivered to the tumours is limited by the side-effects caused to healthy organs. Our team of cancer researchers, composed of a biologist and a nuclear medicine physician, will examine if a novel and promising approach of co-administering a medication (called an inhibitor of the PARP enzyme) along with PRRT can improve its efficacy without augmenting toxicity. Our research has therefore the potential to significantly improve the outcome of patients suffering from NETs.

Dr. Hagen Kennecke,  British Columbia Cancer Agency (BCCA), Vancouver British Columbia. The PET NET Study: impact of 68Ga-DOTA-TOC and 18F-FDG PET/CT on multimodal management among NET patients.  

Description of the research: Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are a diverse group of slow-growing tumors arising from a variety of different sites within the body, mostly from the gastro-intestinal system. These tumors present some diagnostic challenges: NETs are often diagnosed late in the disease and sometimes it is hard to determine locations where the disease has spread. There are many different types of therapies for these tumors and sequencing these therapies is a major current consideration in the clinical management of NETs. Depending on their tumor grade, NETs can progress rapidly, so it is important to accurately identify and characterize the tumors so that they can be treated most appropriately. The purpose of this study is to test a combination of two functional imaging techniques to characterize NET. This study will determine how the information gained from this imaging affects the choice of treatment therapy. It also measures how changes in the therapy as a result of the imaging impact the patient.

CNETS Canada is committed to improving the quality of life and survival for NET patients across Canada. We are confident that our support of these two research projects will enable us to deliver on this vision.

The NET patient community has continually demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting CNETS Canada’s fundraising efforts and NET cancer research. In 2015 alone, we received almost $60,000 in donations at the Scotiabank Marathon events in Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto.

CNETS Canada congratulates the applicants who have been awarded funding and further acknowledges the hard work and dedication to NET research of the applicants whose applications did not receive funding.

These funding decisions are for information only. Only a fully executed letter of agreement will constitute the official record.