address: 18 Wembley Road, Toronto, ON M6C 2E9, Canada
PSC Partners Seeking a Cure Canada is a Canadian affiliate of PSC Partners Seeking a Cure, and a registered charity with CRA business number 811905165RR0001.
PSC Partners Seeking a Cure Canada is an all volunteer organization formed in 2015 to provide primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) patients and their caregivers education and support and to raise funds to research the origins and a cure for the disease. We are a public foundation.
PSC Partners Seeking a Cure Canada Board of Directors
Mary Vyas, President
Eve Jedrzejewska, Treasurer
Rachel Gomel, Secretary
Basic Facts About PSC
PSC, primary sclerosing cholangitis, causes the bile ducts inside and outside the liver to become scarred, narrowed and eventually blocked. As more and more ducts are blocked, bile becomes trapped and damages the liver. The damage, if left unchecked, causes liver cell death, which leads to cirrhosis and may eventually require a liver transplant.
PSC is a rare disease that predominantly affects males ages 30-40 years old. About 43 percent do not have any symptoms when they are diagnosed. It is estimated that nearly 21 per 100,000 men and 6 per 100,000 women have the disease. PSC is often found in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), most often ulcerative colitis (UC) and sometimes Crohn's disease. Over 75 percent of PSC patients have ulcerative colitis. PSC is also associated with other autoimmune diseases.
Cause: No one knows what causes PSC. There may be genetic, autoimmune, and environmental origins. It isn't contagious. PSC can't be transmitted, through kissing, sexual activity, touching, or blood transfusion. There may be a genetic predisposition to PSC; however, most children of PSCers are healthy and unaffected.
There are medications and procedures that can help relieve some aspects of the disease and symptoms, but the only definitive treatment is a liver transplant. Still, many PSCers can live long and productive lives with the disease, and may never need a transplant.
Please visit the PSC Partners Seeking a Cure website for more information about PSC and for resources for patients, caregivers, family, and physicians.
ANNUAL RESEARCH GRANT AWARDS
In 2016 PSC Partners Seeking a Cure Canada began funding research. We fund research that addresses an important and novel, basic or clinical question related to PSC. Research applications are reviewed by the PSC Partners' Scientific/Medical Advisory (SMAC) Committee and the Canadian Board of Directors. Grant awards are made on an annual basis. PSC Partners Seeking a Cure Canada has now funded two research grants and anticipates making future annual grants .
We thank all of our donors who have supported our mission of raising funds to research causes, treatments and cures for primary sclerosing cholangitis. Your contributions have made these awards possible!
2016: INTEGRIN AVB6 AS A THERAPEUTIC TARGET FOR PRIMARY SCLEROSING CHOLANGITIS – ASSOCIATED CHOLANGIOCARCINOMA
Yury V. Popov, MD, PhD, Director, Liver Fibrosis Research, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a liver and bile duct cancer of unknown cause and rising incidence worldwide. CCA is a devastating complication of PSC, difficult to diagnose and associated with high mortality. Treatment options are extremely limited as PSC-associated CCA patients often do not qualify for liver transplantation. In the absence of drug options in the treatment of PSC-associated CCA, poor prognosis and high mortality, new therapeutic approaches are urgently needed.
Integrin αvβ6 is an epithelial tissue cell surface receptor which is virtually absent from normal livers. It has been shown to be markedly upregulated on activated bile duct epithelial cells and liver cells with features of ductular transformation, correlating with fibrosis stage, both in rodent models of fibrosis and in patients with chronic liver disease. Integrin αvβ6 binds and activates transforming growth factor beta and is expressed on liver progenitor cells that are linked to both biliary fibrosis and the formation of cancer.
This study proposes to develop a model of CCA in a mouse model of PSC (mdr2-/- ) and to assess the impact of integrin αvβ6 on the development of CCA and possible therapeutic potential of drugs targeting this pathway. Since several αvβ6-specific inhibitors are currently at various stages of drug development for other indications, rapid translation of findings into clinical practice is feasible.
Amount Awarded: $60,000 over two years.
2015: THE ENTEROHEPATIC METABOLOME IN PRIMARY SCLEROSING CHOLANGITIS
Steven P. O’Hara, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
Emerging data, including work from our laboratory and clinical research group, suggest fundamental disease associated mechanisms in primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) that are centered on molecules derived in the gut and brought to the liver through portal circulation (gut-liver axis). The gut-liver axis has been proposed to play a significant role in the initiation, progression, and adverse clinical events associated with PSC; however, this has not been directly tested to date. Our goal is to determine whether there are differences in the metabolites (proteins, fats, and other chemicals) in the portal vein (which delivers blood from the intestines to the liver) and in bile between individuals with primary sclerosing cholangitis and those without PSC. We anticipate that patients with PSC will have distinct alterations in the portal venous and bile metabolites compared to controls; and these alterations may be amenable to future therapies.
Amount Awarded: $60,000 over two years.
Please contact us for information on applying for a research grant. To see how the PSC Partners Canada funded grants fit into the combined PSC Partners Canada and PSC Partners Seeking a Cure US affiliate grant portfolio, please visit http://pscpartners.org/research-grants/.
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