Signals Blog


The month of November can mean different things to different people. For example, Canadians recognize Remembrance Day on November 11, Americans have Veterans Day and my Polish friends celebrate National Independence Day. There’s American Thanksgiving immediately followed by the countdown to how many shopping days are left until Christmas. Today, as it turns out, is Operating Room Nurse Day.

Looking more globally, November is also Movember. Launched in 2004 and growing in popularity ever since (pun intended), Movember is when our clean-shaven friends, husbands*, and co-workers dispense with good judgment and sprout, sometimes bizarre and obscene, facial hair. It can make a wife or girlfriend pull her hair out in distress.

But it’s all for a good cause: raising awareness of men’s health, particularly in the field of prostate and testicular cancer.

Which brings me to the disappointing news from Seattle, Washington this week that Dendreon, a biotech targeting advanced prostate cancer through its lead product PROVENGE®, has filed for bankruptcy protection, despite PROVENGE gaining FDA approval back in 2010. This is clearly devastating news for Dendreon and alarming news for the cell therapy industry.

Watch for Mark Curtis’ insightful perspective on what went wrong in the coming week. In more positive news, the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine is aware that other therapeutic alternatives are coming through the pipeline to target prostate cancer and these could prove to be viable treatment options.

To end things on a light note, watch this “hilhairious” video on how to grow a moustache from Nick Offerman. (*Jim, you are banned from watching this.)

Our regular feature, Right Turn, showcases the “lighter” side of stem cells and regenerative medicine. Every Friday, we will bring you cartoons, photos, videos and other content that may be just as thought provoking as the written submissions that you are used to finding here, but they definitely won’t be blogs.

As always, we welcome your feedback and we also welcome suitable submissions. Be creative! Use the right (!) side of your brain. Make us laugh! Let’s see if we can make this new direction a positive one for all of us. Send your submission to info(at)

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Stacey Johnson

Stacey Johnson

For almost 20 years, Stacey has been providing strategic communications counsel to government, corporate, technology and health organizations. Prior to that, Stacey was at the CTV Television Network, first as a researcher, then as a story producer for “Goldhawk Fights Back,” a special ombudsman segment that aired weekly on the National News and Canada AM. Before joining CCRM as the Director, Communications and Marketing, Stacey was the Director of Communications for the Canadian Arthritis Network. Stacey is editor of Signals. You can follow Stacey on Twitter @msstaceyerin.