2016 Report to Our Donors
Janet Cottrelle worked as a high school history teacher for many years and then made a
successful transition to the financial services industry. As an investment advisor for RBC
Dominion Securities, her priority was to design unique wealth solutions for her clients with
their lifestyle in mind. Janet’s own lifestyle includes riding horses, working in the garden
and enjoying rural life. She was a serious horse jumping competitor, and is in the Jump
Canada Hall of Fame.
But three cancer diagnoses have made Janet very aware that our own personal vision for
the future can be rudely interrupted. She has been treated twice for breast cancer, and is
now being treated for ovarian cancer.
Having had both breast and ovarian cancer, Janet is keenly aware of the difference in public
awareness and the level of research funding between the two diseases. She says, “Given a
five-year survival rate of 45 percent, I was disappointed to find out ovarian cancer research was seriously underfunded.
There is an urgent need for procedures to diagnose ovarian cancer earlier and for more effective treatments.”
In recognition of the important work going on at The Princess Margaret,
the Janet D. Cottrelle Foundation is making a donation of $1.26 million
to support ovarian cancer research. The goal of the Foundation is to fund
initiatives that will improve women’s health, and the first initiative to be
supported is a study led by Janet’s physician, Dr. Amit Oza, that will create
a framework for anticipating newly-diagnosed ovarian cancer patients’
resistance to platinum-based chemotherapy drugs.
Dr. Oza is a world leader in clinical research for ovarian cancer, and the
efforts of his team have led to two new drug therapies being approved in
the past five years.
One of the current challenges in treating ovarian cancer is understanding a
patient’s resistance to platinum-based chemotherapy drugs. Dr. Oza believes
a biological ‘snapshot’ of each patient’s resistance pattern to platinum
chemotherapy is urgently needed. This snapshot would offer physicians very
valuable information on which to base their treatment recommendations. He
believes that this snapshot could be formulated in three ways:
• Creating a genetic profile of each patient’s tumor sample
• Conducting liquid biopsies that test for circulating tumor DNA in a patient’s
blood over the course of their treatment
• Building an immune profile to assess a patient’s suitability for
Investing in more effective treatment
for ovarian cancer patients
Making ovarian cancer treatment more
effective by making it more personal