A Message from PMCF Board Chair

We’ve passed the halfway point in our BILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE…and we’re getting closer
Conquering cancer in our lifetime is a bold vision, and one that will have a huge impact.  More than 40 percent of Canadians will be diagnosed with some type of cancer, so it is vital that we develop more effective treatments and continue research that will lead to a new understanding of how the disease begins and spreads.

Today, thanks to research, over 50 percent of all cancer patients live ten years or more (in the 1970s, it was 25 percent).  For some types of cancers—breast, prostate and many types of lymphoma and sarcoma—the long-term survival rates are 80 percent or higher.  But for other types—lung, pancreatic and ovarian—the rates remain persistently low.  That is because they are all different diseases, and need specially-designed diagnostic and treatment approaches.

As one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world, the scientists and clinicians at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre are creating tomorrow’s cancer treatment today—one disease at a time. They are conducting over 700 clinical studies of new treatment approaches, and they have a responsibility to share their success and their insight about the disease with other cancer specialists in Canada and the world.  Our job is to ensure they have the equipment and the support to do their life-saving work.

At The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, we don’t shy away from bold visions that require big funding.  In April 2012, we launched a bold BILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE to raise the funds needed to create a new gold standard of cancer care:  Personalized Cancer Medicine.  We have now passed the halfway point in the challenge and have secured $576 million through philanthropy and research grants.

Personalized Cancer Medicine will include new diagnostic and treatment approaches that reflect the reality that each person’s cancer is unique and each cancer patient is a unique individual.  There are already over 200 documented types of cancer, and even when two people have the same type, it varies in size, position and potential to spread.  And each patient’s ability to tolerate treatment is different.

We all have a reason to support the BILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE.  Cancer will impact you or a family member, a friend or close colleague.  Thank you to all of our donors who have contributed to the challenge so far.  We still have a long way to go, but we know that so many share our vision of a world where cancer is controlled and prevented.  We hope we can count on your continued support.

Tom Ehrlich
Chair, Board of Directors

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