Brain Cancer Canada funds Canada’s first genomics technology for rapid and precise brain tumour diagnostics
May 1, 2022
Today marks the first day of Brain Cancer Awareness month. On this day Brain Cancer Canada grants $100,000 to St. Michael’s Hospital to acquire and develop genome technology helping brain cancer patients. With this grant, genetic diagnostics, testing, and treatments will become more accessible to Canadians diagnosed with primary malignant brain tumors. This technology helps St. Michael’s Hospital lead in a new frontier for precision medicine targeting pediatric and adult brain cancers.
The program aims to deliver streamlined care by being able to respond quickly and target treatment toward the specific genetic makeup of the patient’s tumour. The approach intends to save precious time for patients’ treatment and create opportunities for better care against a cancer with an incredibly high mortality rate. The genomics technology supported by Brain Cancer Canada will be instrumental in St. Michael’s mission to deliver precision medicine, one of the key goals of the hospital’s world-first Care Experience Institute and its mission to reinvent the patient experience. One of the program’s champions is St. Michael’s neurosurgeon Dr. Sunit Das, Central Nervous System Tumours Lead for Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario), and head of the Adolescent and Young Adults Brain Tumour Consortium. “Brain Cancer Canada’s generosity over the years has helped St. Michael’s Hospital push the boundaries of what’s possible in treating brain tumours.” says Dr. Das. “Now, thanks to their latest donation to support the development of a novel neuro-oncology genetic testing panel, we will be able to diagnose and treat brain tumours much more quickly and with greater precision. That’s precious time saved, and the impact will be massive.” St. Michael’s Hospital cares for more primary malignant brain tumours patients in Canada than any other hospital, with 350 cases each year. It is home to some of the world’s top experts who have pioneered innovative brain tumour surgery, establishing its reputation as the leading hospital in using minimally invasive surgical techniques to treat brain tumours.
“It is humbling to be able to grant this donation to the team at St. Michael’s Hospital today because we get to work with some of the world’s most brilliant scientists, leveraging incredible genome technology developed through decades of hard work and dedication from the science community,” said Angela Scalisi, Chair of Brain Cancer Canada. “It is also humbling because the people for whom this can make a difference have the odds against them yet fight every day to live. I am extremely proud to be able to announce this grant today because it was made possible through the hard work of our all-volunteer organization and our generous donors, including Scotia Wealth Management, Yamana Gold and Hampton Securities Limited.”
“In total, we were able to grant $400,000 in less than a year—during a pandemic—to research that uses advanced genome science to develop new technology and medicine,” said Marc Peeters, Brain Cancer Canada’s Director of Partnerships and Stakeholders. “It is unfortunate that our work is needed to enable funding for cutting-edge technology in Canada in the fight against brain cancer. However, the community bound together by this genuinely heartbreaking disease—patients, scientists and donors—is one of the most dedicated, strongest groups of people you can find. It is an incredibly difficult task, but our conviction is that this community will break barriers we deemed impossible in the past and ultimately will make this disease manageable.”
Charity No. 80359 4985 RR001
PO Box 30007 RPO Woodbine Heights
Toronto, ON M4C 5J2