About Us

Glans-Look Lung Cancer Research Program

Established in 2006 as a small initiative

Dr. Bebb, supported by Drs Maglioco and Morris, hired a part-time coordinator, Shannon Otsuka to begin data collection. In 2007, one of Dr. Bebb’s patients by the name of Jon Glans was inspired to aid our mission. He organized a charity golf tournament where the proceeds from the day went directly to support the creation and further expansion of the Glans-Look Research initiative.

Added impetus to this initiative was provided by another patient of Dr. Bebb’s, Jim Look. Unfortunately, Jim died in 2010, but in the interim between his diagnosis and his death he had inspired several of his friends to support this lung cancer database initiative. This resulted in a million dollar donation over a period of five years towards this project as well as to start a prospective component under the name “The Look Lung Cancer Initiative”. Because of the combination of Jim Look’s and Jon Glans’ contribution, the program we have set up so far has been named Glans-Look Lung Cancer Research in recognition of their visionary initiative to help support what will be a magnificent research platform for us in lung cancer here in Calgary.

With this added incentive and funding, we have been able to accelerate the acquisition of clinical data and the collation of biological samples. We are currently focused on gathering retrospective data (i.e. collecting samples and clinical data from patients diagnosed in the past). In 2013, Shannon Otsuka was accepted to the University of Calgary medical school. The following year Adrijana D’Silva was hired as the new Glans-Look Research associate, coordinating research activities and playing a crucial role in advancing the program for three years.  In 2017, Adrijana was accepted into a PhD program at the University of Calgary in Health and Exercise Psychology. Michelle Dean has since transitioned into the role as coordinator of the program and looks forward to contributing to its success.

To date, the Glans-Look Research program has developed a repository of comprehensive medical information on all lung cancer patients diagnosed with lung cancer in southern Alberta and treated through the Calgary based Tom Baker Cancer Centre since 1999. In addition, pathological samples such as tissue, obtained either at diagnosis or surgery, is collected and analyzed.

Jon Glans
Jim Look

Looking Ahead

Our future direction will involve a prospective database.

The advantage of a prospective database is the complete control over what samples we want to collect. When we do things retrospectively, however diligent we try to be, we are limited by the quality and nature of the data that has been collected in the past. By moving forward prospectively, we can determine what we think is important and set out ways of making sure we collect that data. We aim to not only collect tissue samples from patients, but to also collect serial blood and urine samples if possible on all patients who agree to participate. We would then be able to follow changes in patient samples as they undergo a variety of treatments, as their tumors shrink or grow or as the disease progression and reoccurs. In addition to the medical data and biological samples, we will also collect information on the participant’s health, quality of life, and family history.

Our vision is to continue to collect this valuable information and subsequently expand that to include the province of Alberta. Collaborative networks with the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton are underway. Furthermore, our colleagues in British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan are looking to join us in the creation of a Western Canadian based clinical pathological database for lung cancer, which if brought to completion would provide probably one of the best research platforms for lung cancer in the world.