BSc (Bio Chem), Minor Kines, 1988
SFU OUTSTANDING ALUMNI AWARD RECIPIENT, 2009
Dr. Marianne Sadar was only 10 years old when she lost her older sister to leukemia. Since then she has dedicated her life to achieving her childhood dream: finding a cure for cancer. As the Program Leader for Prostate Cancer Research at the BC Cancer Agency, she has made groundbreaking discoveries that are giving hope to thousands of men who are diagnosed with the disease every year. Dr. Sadar’s work began with the aim to increase the efficacy of treatment for patients whose cancer had progressed to the most aggressive state. Normally advanced prostate cancer cells don’t respond to any kind of treatment. In 2007 after eight years of work, her laboratory team found a way to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors by using an androgen receptor decoy molecule that interrupts a key step in cancer growth. This major breakthrough could result in improved treatment for prostate cancer within the next five years. Her research team is now focusing its energy on finding a drug that will do the job of the decoy molecule, with potential applications to earlier stage prostate cancer and other endocrine cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer. Dr. Sadar has made seminal contributions towards understanding prostate cancer progression and has been the first in the world to develop a novel therapeutic strategy to combat currently incurable advanced prostate cancer. In recognition of her outstanding work, she was presented with the Terry Fox Young Investigator Award by the National Cancer Institute of Canada in 2008.