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Princess Margaret Cancer Institute Toronto General Research Institute Toronto Rehabilitation Institute Toronto Western Research Institute

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Toronto General Research Institute

Toronto Rehab Institute

Toronto Western Research Institute

  • Located in Toronto, Ontario
  • Research foci: cancer— genomics, informatics, molecular biology, clinical trials, signalling pathways, structural biology and biophysics.
  • 361 scientists and clinician-scientists
  • $162M external funding
  • more

  • Located at the Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, Ontario
  • Research foci: cardiology, transplantation, immunology and infectious disease
  • 230 scientists and clinician-scientists
  • $73M external funding
  • more

  • Located at Toronto Rehab, Toronto, Ontario
  • Research foci: rehabilitation sciences, cardiopulmonary fitness and mobility
  • 119 scientists and clinician-scientists
  • $8M external funding
  • more

  • Located at the Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Ontario
  • Research foci: Neural and visual sciences, musculoskeletal disease and community and population health
  • 159 scientists and clinician-scientists
  • $35M external funding
  • more


Heart Disease: Historic Gift to Spur Innovation
Nov 26, 2014

The Rogers family has given a gift of $130 million—the largest private donation ever made to a Canadian health care initiative—to UHN, the University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children to establish the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research. The new Centre’s goal is to improve heart health in children and adults by promoting innovation in cardiac medicine. To achieve this, it will bring together and promote collaboration among clinicians, researchers and engineers with expertise in genomic medicine, stem cell research, bioengineering and cardiovascular treatment and management at the three participating institutions. The Centre will include facilities at each institution, a directorate at UHN, a competitive innovation fund to support research and an education fund to attract the best and brightest trainees (photo courtesy of Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation).

“Ted Rogers led the development of the telecommunications industry through a constant focus on innovation. We will use Mr. Rogers’ approach to change the face of heart disease in Canada and throughout the world.” said Dr. Barry Rubin, Chair and Program Medical Director of UHN’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre.

Full Story

Cancer: Examining the Toxicity of New Drugs
Nov 24, 2014

Treating cancer often involves trade-offs, as many anticancer drugs cause adverse effects such as fatigue and diarrhea, or even more severe and potentially fatal events like bleeding or blockages in major blood vessels. New anticancer drugs are rigorously tested in clinical trials before being approved; however, clinical trials can under-report the expected rate of adverse events because recruited patients tend to be healthier with fewer complications and because the timeframe of a clinical trial can miss toxicity that does not manifest until long after the treatment course.

PM Senior Scientist Dr. Ian Tannock and colleagues analyzed the results of 41 studies that investigated 19 new anticancer drugs to quantify the cost of adverse events associated with approved therapies. They found that new drugs with specific molecular targets resulted in fewer adverse events than existing treatments. Conversely, new drugs that did not have specific molecular targets had increased rates of adverse events that led to $140 more in hospital costs per patient, which adds to the already higher price of the new drugs themselves.

Full Story

Pancreatic Cancer: Blood Proteins Aid in Diagnosis
Nov 21, 2014

Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers and the survival rate has remained low for over 30 years. This is the case because the most common type of pancreatic cancer—known as Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC)—is often diagnosed at later stages in the disease, after it has spread to other parts of the body.

For a number of conditions, measuring levels of proteins in the blood—known as serum biomarkers—can enable physicians to confidently determine whether symptoms are the result of disease. For PDAC, the CA19.9 protein is the only approved biomarker; unfortunately, CA19.9 lacks the sensitivity and specificity required to identify patients with earlier stages of the disease.

A recent study, led by PM and TGRI Clinical Researcher Dr. Ivan Blasutig, addresses this issue by testing a diverse group of new and existing biomarkers for their ability to identify pancreatic cancer.

Full Story


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