Training and research: the direct way to better care

In 2008, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation awarded the largest grant in its history—$100 million—to the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. The funds will go for new infrastructure to support important studies being undertaken by our research teams. $150 million will be added to this sum ($100 million guaranteed by the government of Québec and $50 million to come from The Best Care for Life fundraising campaign.) The new 40 thousand square-metre Research Institute on the Glen Campus will be among the most advanced in the country and will house the Centre for Innovative Medicine and the Centre for Translational Biology. This new facility will allow our researchers to develop and launch discoveries for treating patients at all stages of their lives from birth to old age. The investment will provide researchers and graduate students in medicine with a centre for research and training of international calibre.

By establishing an extraordinary platform for knowledge and discovery, the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre will provide the oncologists of tomorrow with more effective therapies to defeat cancer—whether by surgery, medical care or radiation.

Naturally, cancer will continue to be a major focus of the strategic research programs at our new home. Specifically, research will look into the systemic aspects of cancer and toward individualized oncology treatment plans, centred on both child and adult patients. The institute will also collaborate in studies on breast and intestinal cancer as part of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) as well as in National Cancer Institute of Canada clinical trials.

Cancer Research at the MUHC

Thanks to its affiliation with McGill University, the McGill University Health Centre benefits from advances in knowledge drawn from studies lead by the McGill Clinical Research Program. Undertaken in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies and cooperative groups such as the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group, the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, The Princess Margaret Hospital and The Children’s Oncology Group, these trials may very well lead to important advances in cancer treatment.

In fact, every year, at least 60 to 80 trials related to cancer research are made available for therapeutic purposes to patients with cancerous tumours. That’s more than one every week!

Every year nearly 250 patients of the McGill University Health Centre participate in these trials.

As well, 50 to 70 other cancer trials are submitted for approval to the Ethics Committee of the McGill Clinical Research Program annually.

“We are honoured to partner with the McGill University Health Centre Cancer Care Mission on the fight against cancer. Cedars is dedicated to raising the necessary funds to ensure we have the equipment, infrastructure and talent to maintain our international leadership role, and one day find a cure for cancer,”

-Bruce Shadeed, President of the Cedars Cancer Institute at the MUHC.

Leaders in the search for a cure

The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre continues to distinguish itself on the world stage for the quality of its cancer research. We are helping in the global fight against cancer through our research into the causes and outcomes of the disease from infancy through adulthood. Research focuses primarily on breast, ovarian, prostate and colon cancers, as well as on blood diseases and melanomas.

We have earned international recognition for our development of quality of life measures for palliative care patients and their families. Future research will study the systemic aspects of human cancer, and explore our emerging ability to deliver individualized cancer care. Our researchers will continue to take advantage of the unique opportunities offered by the MUHC to study the disease across the lifespan.