Dr. Janusz Rak
Department of Pediatrics
Montreal Children's Hospital Research Institute
Associate Member, Goodman Cancer Research Centre
Research includes how tumors interact with blood vessels. This is important because cancer can be treated by obliterating tumor blood vessel growth and already three agents with such (antiangiogenic) activity have been approved in for human use since 2004 (Avastin, Sutent and Sorafenib). Dr. Rak's laboratory has a particular interest in a molecule that can simultaneously cause vascular growth and blood clotting and is called tissue factor (TF). This molecule is regulated by cancer causing genes (oncogenes) expressed in malignant cells. This causes two detrimental effects, namely triggers formation of new blood vessels in the tumor and makes blood abnormally prone to clotting outside of it. His team works to develop strategies to stop these processes by blocking the production and activity of TF in cancer.