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Michael Shapiro established the Ira

Schneider Memorial Foundation

to honour his dear friend, Ira

Schneider, who passed away

from cancer in 1991. Through this

Foundation, Michael Shapiro is

supporting promising research that

he hopes will lead to treatments

more effective in eradicating

cancers that don’t respond well to

today’s therapies.

“Our Foundation was created in

tribute to Ira’s valiant fight against

cancer and to fund the most

promising areas of cancer research

and treatment,” says Michael.

The outstanding work that is taking

place at The Princess Margaret in

the area of epigenetics came to

his attention last year. In particular,

the published work of one of our

leading young scientists, Dr. Daniel

De Carvalho, caught his interest.

Dr. De Carvalho’s research team

discovered a mechanism to mimic

a virus and potentially trigger an

immune response to fight the

cancer like an infection.

“By mimicking a virus, the potential

is to trick the immune system

into ‘seeing’ the cancer cells as

an infection that needs to be

destroyed,” says Dr. De Carvalho, an

expert in cancer epigenetics.

The $250,000 (U.S.) funding

from the Ira Schneider Memorial

Cancer Foundation will allowThe

Princess Margaret to initiate a

Phase II clinical trial under the joint

leadership of Drs. De Carvalho

and Lillian Siu to study how three

tumor types (colon, ovarian and

breast) respond to a combination

of targeted drugs.

Fighting cancer with

viruses (or agents that

can act like viruses)

Dr. Daniel De Carvalho and his team are

doing pioneering work using therapeutic

agents that mimic viruses, in order to trigger

a response from the immune system that will

destroy cells infected with the virus. There is

tremendous potential for these agents to work

in combination with another class of drugs

called immune checkpoint inhibitors. Immune

checkpoint inhibitors remove the brakes from

our immune system to allow it to attack ‘foreign’

substances in the body, including viruses


International support for our

leading work in Epigenetics


2016 Report to Our Donors

Ira Schneider, photo taken in 1985

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