SACRI members engage in cancer research activities that fall into 4 broad streams:
The basic scientists in SACRI are involved in a wide spectrum of scientific investigations from how aberrant molecular processes result in tumour formation to how existing and new therapeutic agents destroy the cancer cells. These research efforts are key to understanding how cancer develops, grows and spreads.
SACRI translational researchers are involved in bringing scientific discoveries from "bench to bedside". Some of these researchers are investigating how various therapeutic agents destroy cancer cells and one arm of this work has led to the discovery that oncolytic viruses, when injected into a tumour, will kill the cancer cells. This discovery is proving significant and has already been used in the treatment of a small number of patients through Phase I and II clinical trails. Other research is looking at how the biomolecular mechanisms induced by radiation therapy treatments and chemotherapy kill cancer cells and how those mechanisms can be improved upon.
Patient Based Research
Oncologists, the "front line" care givers in the fight against cancer, are ideally placed to observe the effectiveness of treatment regimes and how advances made by the scientists and epidemiologists are being translated into lower rates of occurrence, decreased morbidity and reduced mortality. For those patients who do not find success with current treatment options, the Palliative Care team is dedicated to improving the quality of life and providing superior end of life care. Research is continually attempting to improve the care these patients receive and to assist with symptom relief, pain control and medication tolerance.
Population Based Research
The AHS's Division of Population Health and Information conducts research in cancer etiology, including an emphasis on molecular cancer epidemiology, early detection and health services, and statistical methods in cancer. The goal of this research is a reduction in the risk of developing cancer and an improvement in the early detection of disease. A major focus of the research is on modifiable lifestyle risk factors, but also includes hormonal factors and several other risk factors.