$2M to the MUHC Foundation for precision cancer care
BMO gift will help cancer researchers at the RI-MUHC develop the hospital’s precision oncology program
This story was written by Tarah Schwartz and originally published on Health e-News.
Illustration: Dr. Peter Metrakos, Cancer Research Program Leader at the Research Institute of the MUHC, addresses the media following the BMO Financial Group announcement.
The future of cancer treatment is one step closer to reality, thanks to a transformative $2 million donation from BMO Financial Group to the MUHC Foundation. The gift will help cancer experts at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) develop the hospital’s precision oncology program – personalized treatment tailored to each patient.
Precision oncology means providing the right treatment to the right patient at the right time. Using advanced tools and techniques, the MUHC’s oncologists can understand exactly what type of cancer a patient has and they can test treatment options in the laboratory to ensure they have the optimal effect.
“Precision oncology is the future of cancer care. It decreases use of one-size-fits-all treatments in favour of a personalized approach to each patient’s disease. We are incredibly grateful to BMO for supporting the development of the Precision Oncology Program at the Research Institute of the MUHC,” said Dr. Rhian Touyz, Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer, RI-MUHC.
Optimal, timely treatment
BMO’s gift will support a range of specialized techniques, including creation of organoids, patient tumours and tissue grown in the lab. Organoids allow the MUHC’s oncologists to test treatments externally before administering them to the patient. This helps ensure each patient receives the optimal treatment right away, avoiding excessive or unnecessary therapies.
“At BMO, we believe that the strongest progress can be made through collaborative and innovative approaches to solving complex problems. We’re proud to help grow the good in Montreal – and beyond – with this investment in the MUHC’s Precision Oncology Program that will pioneer new cancer treatments, leading to transformational change in healthcare for all Canadians, said Darryl White, Chief Executive Officer, BMO.
Ultimate goal: To end cancer
The gift is part of the MUHC Foundation’s $20 million campaign to End Cancer as a deadly disease. A priority of the $200 million Dream Big Campaign to change the course of lives and medicine, End Cancer is helping pioneer new cancer treatments, improve patient care and ensure more people survive.
“The RI-MUHC is home to some of the top oncologists and cancer researchers in the country, and the MUHC Foundation is committed to supporting ongoing, innovative research that will not only increase survival rates in cancer patients but ultimately help to end cancer for good,” said Suzanne Legge Orr, Dream Big Campaign Co-chair, MUHC Foundation.
Precision Oncology Program
Organoids are just one of a suite of new approaches that make up the Precision Oncology Program at the RI-MUHC. The program will help ensure more lives are saved with the help of personalized cancer treatment.
“As an academic health centre, the MUHC aims to give cancer patients the greatest odds of survival and the best quality of life throughout and beyond treatment,” said Dr. Pierre Gfeller, President and Executive Director, MUHC. “The MUHC thanks BMO Financial Group for its leadership gift and appeals to other organizations to help us develop the next generation of precision medicines against cancer. Sustained investment in research will fuel our success and change the lives of countless patients.”