INGRID GINGRAS – Special to The Ottawa Construction News
If you’re looking for Ian Lorimer on the weekend, chances are you’ll find him out and about on his bike cycling from Old Ottawa South to Gatineau Park. During the week, he trades his spandex for a lab coat as he works to develop better treatments for patients with glioblastoma – brain cancer.
“This type of brain cancer is incredibly invasive,” says Dr. Lorimer, a researcher at The Ottawa Hospital. “Unfortunately there have been few advances made for the treatment of this devastating diagnosis. That’s what I’m trying to change.”
Glioblastomas are the most common malignant brain tumour in adults, typically occurring between the ages of 45 and 70. The cells in these tumours have an abnormal appearance, grow rapidly, and are very invasive – invariably spreading extensively within the brain. Most patients are given a year to live following their diagnosis.
Current treatment starts with surgery and is followed by radiation and chemotherapy, but only one drug has demonstrated benefit to patients. While these treatments give small improvements in patient survival, unfortunately they are almost never curative.
“My main focus is to gain a much better understanding of how this type of cancer works and to find, or develop, new drugs that could interfere with its growth and invasion,” he says. “By developing new treatment options, we can hopefully extend the lifespan of these patients and offer them additional years with their families. Even better would be finding a cure.”
Dr. Lorimer first came to The Ottawa Hospital close to 20 years ago… and grabbed the handlebars of heroism five years ago when he first joined THE RIDE. Since then, he’s been a proud member of the CycleOOS (Cycle Old Ottawa South). His team captain and neighbour, Gary Stein, was actually the first cancer survivor to ever register for THE RIDE back in 2010 when the event first came to life. For Dr. Lorimer, the support he’s seen from his friends, neighbours and the community means a great deal to him.
“The journey to the finish line is a great one, but even more powerful is the community support,” he says “We spend so many hours in the lab trying to make a difference. To know that there’s an army of riders out there who support our work, discoveries, and who ‘have our back’ gives us a tremendous amount of motivation… and pride.”
Join Dr. Lorimer, cancer survivors and this army of riders on Sept. 11. It’s time to slip into spandex, do THE RIDE, and help power the revolution of cancer research. Register today at DoTheRide.ca.
Ingrid Gingras is manager, communications and marketing, at The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.