Beating Cancer through Research: Between Resilience, Hope and Innovation

Beating Cancer through Research: Between Resilience, Hope and Innovation

Judith Lafayle

Credit: screenshot – IRIC UMONTREAL

“Cancer is a roommate that can’t be picked up.”

This colorful quote is what started the latest edition of Rendez-vous Audace for the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) at the University of Montreal, which was presented on April 27 in the form of online conference Hosted by actor Andre Rubitail.

This light and purposeful sentence was launched by Judith Lafayle, a 29-year-old project manager who has lived for nearly six years with an incurable and incurable brain tumor.

The young woman finds herself in this gray area between calm and the final stage. And thanks to scientific advances, they keep a second at a distance. Since his tumor, which is a huge stellate mass, is contained by oral chemotherapy which guarantees him an amazing quality of life. She testifies with her sense of humor and candor on her Instagram account cancer squad And his podcast cancer card.

“Over the past six years, I’ve seen the evolution of care,” she says, her eyes sparkling. Every night I take a small pill and I ready to go. If not for research, I would not be sitting here in front of Andrei. Before, we didn’t think quality of life was possible with cancer. In my case, it would have taken a few weeks or a few months. I am amazed at the science, researchers, and researchers.”

Science is a powerful engine for progress

Iralda Kinna

Iralda Kinna

Credit: screenshot – IRIC UMONTREAL

This confidence in science also resides in Iralda Kenna, an oncologist and doctoral student at IRIC and the second speaker at the conference.

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“Whether an individual is able to recover or not depends on the research,” she says candidly. Every day, I meet people with generalized cancers, and thanks to scientific discoveries, I see new tools emerging. Before, these patients would have died within three weeks, but today I have been following some of them for two years. I see the tangible difference on the pitch.”

It was precisely this desire to achieve things that drove her to join the ranks of IRIC, after a few years in a sick bed. “I think of patients waiting for solutions and I want to help reduce that wait. In oncology, we develop a special bond with patients, seeing them in moments of great vulnerability.”

Desiring to accelerate discoveries for the benefit of patients, Iralda Quina is currently working in the unit of Claude Perrault, researcher in immunobiology and professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Montreal.

Their research work relates to improving the functioning of the immune system, particularly through immunotherapy, which is a more natural and less toxic approach than chemotherapy. They have developed a technology that combines genomics, bioinformatics, and proteomics with the hope of creating a cancer vaccine.

“I can’t wait for our work to translate into tangible effects for patients and I am convinced that my ‘eureka moment’ in immunotherapy will come quickly,” Eralda Kenna believes.

Increase knowledge and refine treatments

Genevieve Deblois

Genevieve Deblois

Credit: screenshot – IRIC UMONTREAL

Improving patients’ quality of life is also a primary motivation for Genevieve Deblois, principal investigator at IRIC, professor at UdeM’s School of Pharmacy and recent speaker at the Audace conference.

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His team is interested in fighting cancer treatments. It seeks to better understand how tumors adapt to their environment in order to develop more specialized and targeted therapies for each cancer.

“Basic research is essential, especially in oncology, where disease is a lottery. In my career, I’ve seen the arrival of genome sequencing, which has revolutionized the way research is done. It’s clear to me that scientists are of great importance in our society,” concludes Genevieve Deblois.

In the face of these three inspiring and inspiring young women, Cancer had better act.

More about bold meetings

Since 2014, IRIC has been organizing the Audace Fundraising Activity, which annually contributes to funding promising discoveries in the fight against cancer.

For the second year, IRIC presented a virtual meeting on the topic of mobilization presented in the form of scientific discussions giving a great place to the human side.

Click (to replay) to watch the conference titled: “A changing world, a succession of work“.

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