Transformational uterine cancer screening proposal wins Royal University Hospital Foundation’s inaugural Women Leading Philanthropy $100,000 Grant

October 2, 2018

Transformational uterine cancer screening proposal wins Royal University Hospital Foundation’s inaugural Women Leading Philanthropy $100,000 Grant

SASKATOON (October 2, 2018)  –  Genetic testing can reveal a lot about the person being tested and about that person’s relatives. And for those women diagnosed with uterine cancer in Saskatchewan and their families, genetic testing is in for a transformational makeover thanks to the genetics team at Royal University Hospital and women philanthropists from across Saskatchewan.

The 100-plus members of Royal University Hospital Foundation’s Women Leading Philanthropy program voted to invest their $100,000 combined donation to Dr. Candice Jackel-Cram, a genetic counsellor, and her team in support of their project titled “Universal Testing of Endometrial cancer: Reaching an Under-Served population”, also known as the UTERUS Project.

All women with uterine cancer will now be offered genetic testing at the time of their diagnosis using specialized technology that looks at both the tumour and the blood for evidence of a genetic and hereditary explanation.  This new approach will provide more timely care and follow up, and help other family members determine if they should get tested, says Dr. Jackel-Cram.

“This will decrease the time waiting for results and genetic counselling from three to four years to one to two months,” says Dr. Jackel-Cram. “The knowledge of whether or not someone has a hereditary cancer syndrome can directly affect their access to screening and treatments that can result in cancer prevention and saved lives – this includes both the individual who has cancer and also for their family members.”

Dr. Jackel-Cram adds: “It is an honour to have been selected as the inaugural winner of the WLP $100,000 Grant and we are very appreciative of the donor support. This is an amazing chance for Saskatchewan to take the lead on something that affects all women and all their families.  We can really make a difference with this project and expect to begin enrolling patients in January once we have research ethics approval.”

Dr. Jackel-Cram’s team was one of three finalists to “pitch” their projects to WLP members during their voting meeting sponsored by Joule, a Canadian Medical Association company, held in Saskatoon on September 25.

Royal University Hospital Foundation’s WLP program is a unique sharing circle of women philanthropists who are supporting innovative health-care initiatives led by women physicians, health practitioners and researchers at RUH.  Its honourary chair is Rachel Mielke, Founder and CEO of Hillberg & Berk, who praised the three grant finalists and the women philanthropists for their involvement in the inaugural WLP Grant competition.

“When we empower women we all benefit — women, our families, and the entire community. You are a community of amazing women who have come together to champion innovation in health care,” said Mielke.

The UTERUS Project team will report back to the WLP membership throughout the year on their progress.

To learn more about the WLP program and on how to become a donor, please visit https://ruhf.org/women-leading-philanthropy/ or call Lisa Sands, Chief Development Officer at 306.655.6477.

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(Editors: For more information, please contact Arla Gustafson, RUH Foundation CEO at 306.655.1984 or email arla.gustafson@ruhf.org)

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