TORONTO — Sabrina Fuoco is used to challenges. She is a busy downtown lawyer, but takes time out of her career to deal with her personal life.
“I have been living with cancer for 31 years,” said Fuoco. “I am a five-time cancer survivor. I tested positive for Li-Fraumeni Syndrome.”
Dr. David Malkin, senior scientist and oncologist at The Hospital for Sick Children, said individuals with the syndrome carry a mutated or altered copy of a very important gene called P53.
“When you carry that gene, it puts them at a lifetime risk of cancer of almost 100 per cent.”
Malkin and his team at SickKids recently received a grant of $2.2 million from The Terry Fox Foundation.
The money will be used in researching better ways to detect these cancers earlier and to identify ways to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
“There are many different mutations across many different families,” said Malkin.
“But what we can do is model them to a zebra fish, a small little fish that you can genetically alter, that will then develop the cancers and we can study them in the fish. We can start exposing them to chemicals and drugs to see if it prevents or slows down the development of cancer.”
Since the early 1980s, The Terry Fox Foundation has raised more than $700 million for cancer research.
“Terry has funded some amazing treatments and clinical trials,” said Fuoco. “What he continues to accomplish after he is gone is amazing”
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