Weekend races provide a $120,000 boost to the development of a revolutionary PAP test to detect gynecological cancers at the MUHC
All proceeds support the DOvEEgene project, whose new genomic uterine pap test allows for the earlier diagnosis of ovarian and endometrial cancers.
MONTRÉAL, October 18, 2022 – Hundreds of walkers and runners, many wearing elaborate team costumes, took to the streets of Town of Mount Royal on Sunday, October 16, for the 7th annual Cedars Run for Ovarian Cancer. The event, which raised over $120,000, is the signature annual fundraiser for the Dagenais Joly-Smith Fund, and all proceeds support the DOvEEgene project, under the leadership of Dr. Lucy Gilbert, Director of Gynecologic Oncology at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).
“My family and I are so grateful to all the runners and walkers who came out to support the DOvEEgene project and to help us continue the fight against gynecological cancers,” said Dominique Dagenais, event founder and Stage 3 ovarian cancer survivor. “Until recently, these cancers could not be detected until it was too late. Dr. Gilbert and her team keep pushing the boundaries of science and finding ways to diagnose them earlier. Their work has saved the lives of countless mothers, daughters, and sisters.”
Over 3,000 Canadian women are diagnosed with ovarian and endometrial cancers every year, and more than 75% of them were not diagnosed until their cancer had reached an advanced stage. These cancers are often referred to as “silent killers,” because their symptoms can easily be mistaken for menopause-related changes and digestive issues – and because, until recently, there was no simple test to detect them.
“If you can detect a cancer in its early stages, you can cure it. But if you only detect it when it reaches the advanced stages, you can’t. You can only delay its progression and try to extend a patient’s life with chemotherapy and radiation,” explains Dr, Lucy Gilbert, a world-renowned oncologist who leads the DOvEEgene project. “Our research has led to the development of the DOvEEgene genomic PAP test, which can detect these cancers in their earliest stages, so we can stop them in their tracks,” she added.
“Our raison d’être is to foster excellence in research, treatment and care at the Cedars Cancer Centre of the MUHC, and we are therefore incredibly proud to support the transformative work of Dr. Gilbert and her team at the DOvEEgene project,” says Jeff J. Shamie, President and CEO of the Cedars Cancer Foundation. “This project is a game-changer. Dr. Gilbert is just a few steps away from being able to provide a simple, routine test to detect gynecological cancers in their earliest stages, which will save the life of thousands of women every year, so please donate!”