First Canadian professorship in melanoma research established

May 16, 2006

Edmonton, May 16, 2006 - The Alberta Cancer Foundation today announced the establishment of Canada's first melanoma research professorship at its Cross Cancer Institute, made possible by a $1 million donation from the family and friends of Mrs. Mary Johnston.

The incidence of malignant melanoma is increasing faster than that of any other cancer. It has doubled in the past 30 years, treatment options are limited, and are for the most part, ineffective. Mary Johnston lived with melanoma for 22 years before her death June 27, 2004. In her honour, the Alberta Cancer Foundation will establish the endowment fund that will support a Professorship and eventual Chair.

Mary, who spent the first half of her life adoring the sun and the second half shading herself from it, became an advocate for safer skin care and was the President of the Alberta Society of Melanoma. Despite rarely going more than a few years without being told her cancer had returned, Mrs. Johnston advocated "there is no such thing as a safe tan."

Mary Johnston's dedication to Melanoma Research will live on through the important work made possible by this Professorship. The creation of the Professorship allows long-term commitment to research directed towards identifying key pathways in melanoma development that would lead to potential targets for prevention and therapy.
For more information, contact:
Karen McDermott, Alberta Cancer Foundation, Work: (780) 409-5709, Cell: (780) 966-3243

Alberta Cancer Board

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