Story 74

Research leads to innovative cancer treatment

Dr Tak Wah Mak

The Canadian Cancer Society funds research into many different types of cancer, including what is called basic research, which aims to better understand how cancer works in the body. The work of Society-funded researcher Dr Tak Wah Mak led to important discoveries in this area that paved the way for future researchers.

In 1984, Dr Mak became the first scientist to clone a T-cell receptor gene. This discovery was regarded as the Holy Grail of immunology. It gave researchers a better understanding of how the immune system recognizes and fights cancer. Knowledge of this gene's function was key to developing new cancer treatments, including anticancer vaccines.

Dr Mak was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000. The Canadian Cancer Society funds more research into more types of cancer than any other national charity in Canada. Learn more about the exciting research we are currently funding.