Newsroom

Could old drugs target lung cancer in a new way?

February 23, 2017


Dr. Doug Gray received a $196,000 grant from a partnership of the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute and Canadian Institutes of Health Research to investigate new ways to prevent lung cancer from spreading. By the time most patients with lung cancer are diagnosed, the cancer has already spread (or metastasized) to other parts of the body, and in 40 percent of cases it has spread to their brain. Even with aggressive treatments these patients usually only survive for a year. Dr. Gray hopes to help patients live longer by finding ways to interfere with how lung cancer invades the rest of the body. To do this, he will focus on an enzyme called USP4, which was discovered by his team. USP4 is involved in the complex biological decision of whether a cell will divide, grow old or be killed off. It also helps regulate a pathway that is abnormally active in metastatic cells. Dr. Gray’s team will determine whether drugs approved for other purposes can block USP4 activity, making them prime candidates to prevent the spread of lung cancer.

The Ottawa Hospital: Inspired by research. Driven by compassion


The Ottawa Hospital is one of Canada’s largest learning and research hospitals with over 1,100 beds, approximately 12,000 staff and an annual budget of over $1.2 billion. Our focus on research and learning helps us develop new and innovative ways to treat patients and improve care. As a multi-campus hospital, affiliated with the University of Ottawa, we deliver specialized care to the Eastern Ontario region, but our techniques and research discoveries are adopted around the world. We engage the community at all levels to support our vision for better patient care. See www.ohri.ca for more information about research at The Ottawa Hospital.

University of Ottawa: —A crossroads of cultures and ideas


The University of Ottawa is home to over 50,000 students, faculty and staff, who live, work and study in both French and English. Our campus is a crossroads of cultures and ideas, where bold minds come together to inspire game-changing ideas. We are one of Canada’s top 10 research universities—our professors and researchers explore new approaches to today’s challenges. One of a handful of Canadian universities ranked among the top 200 in the world, we attract exceptional thinkers and welcome diverse perspectives from across the globe. www.uottawa.ca

For further information, please contact


Amelia Buchanan
Senior Communication Specialist
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Office: 613-798-5555 x 73687
Cell: 613-297-8315
ambuchanan@ohri.ca