Inaugural research award for rare gastrointestinal cancer granted to Sunnybrook Research Institute.

Jul 13, 2015, 07:45 ET from GIST Sarcoma Life Raft Group Canada

GUELPH, ON, July 13, 2015 /CNW/ - Today is GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour) Awareness Day in Canada and the U.S.A., and Life Raft Group Canada (LRGC) is pleased to announce the inaugural "Glenita Mungcal GIST Research Award", in aid of GIST research in Canada, to medical oncologist Dr. Yoo-Joung Ko at Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto.

Rehana Jamani, a student working with Dr. Ko, will test the idea that the protein target for "checkpoint inhibitors", a new class of drugs that act by empowering the immune system to attack tumours, may be present in GIST cells.

About the Glenita Mungcal Award
Glenita died from her GIST tumour in the same Montreal hospital where she had given birth to her twin daughters; they were determined that their mother's legacy be empowered to advance GIST research in Canada, as her own meaningful last action. This was done following her passing, through support and donations from loving family and community. 

About Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumours
Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumours (GIST) are a rare, life-threatening cancer of the digestive system. Several hundred Canadians are diagnosed with GIST every year. GIST strikes randomly; neither risk factors nor ways to prevent it are known. Molecularly-targeted drugs have greatly improved the treatment of GIST in recent years. GIST patients hope to see the disease become a chronic illness to be monitored and managed, rather than a life-threatening condition.

About Life Raft Group Canada
Life Raft Group Canada (LRGC) is a registered Canadian charity supporting patients who suffer from Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour (GIST). LRGC also receives funding from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. and Pfizer Canada Inc., developers of innovative targeted cancer therapies.  

SOURCE GIST Sarcoma Life Raft Group Canada