The Weekend To Conquer Cancer™ will be the event’s 18th year, marking a historic point in the journey. I remember the first Walk like it was yesterday: the passion that I saw in the Walkers’ faces as I greeted them at the finish line. I was so grateful for all their accomplishments, especially their fundraising efforts to support the work at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Together we have accomplished so much like the expansion of the first in-hospital survivorship program that is now accessible to all patients at our Cancer Centre.
Over a decade ago, my scientific discovery team began the journey to find new targets and today, we have several novel therapies and new drugs we have developed that have moved into clinical trials. To accomplish this, we created a new Therapeutics Group within the Campbell Family Institute at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
Another major accomplishment has been the creation of the Tumor Immunotherapy Program, supported by our Walkers. Co-Directors, Drs. Lillian Siu and Pam Ohashi, lead this work in Immunotherapy. Today, it is one of the biggest breakthroughs in the past decade and we believe it has the potential to revolutionize cancer therapy, as the fourth pillar of cancer treatment in addition to surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. We now have over 180 active clinical trials underway, including Canada’s first gene-engineered T-cell trial. The Princess Margaret, in part due to the Walker community, now boasts Canada’s most comprehensive immunotherapy program. This work could be effective on a number of different types of cancer and even some of the more difficult to treat today. This critical research is made possible in part by donations received from more than 68,000 participants over 16 years who have walked the Walk! Because of The Weekend To Conquer Cancer™, we are advancing cancer research. Learn more about this revolutionary immunotherapy program at The Princess Margaret by clicking here.
To read The Princess Margaret’s Immunotherapy Magazine, click here.
As we continue on our journey, progress is being made. We understand so much more today than when I started my career in the 70’s. We are in an era of genomic discovery and uncovering insights that have eluded researchers in previous decades. We now know that there are many forms of cancer, within the same type, and that some forms of one cancer are more related to another. We are discovering new cancer targets and from that, new targeted therapies.
I encourage you to join The Weekend To Conquer Cancer™ to allow me and my fellow researchers to continue our work. I share your passion and your dream that one day we will conquer cancer. And while the team at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is committed to making that dream a reality, we can’t do it alone. That’s why I hope to see you on the 2020 Walk and don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to me!