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Princess Margaret Foundation Seeks $1B for Personalized Cancer Programs

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation today launched a five-year campaign to raise C$1 billion (US$1 billion), aiming to raise C$500 million from donors and C$500 million from research grants, to boost its personalized cancer medicine and research programs.

Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital plans to use the funding to "recruit, train, and retain" the researchers and physicians and to build multi-disciplinary teams, including engineers, bioinformatics specialists, and medicinal chemists, the Foundation said today as it unveiled the Billion Dollar Challenge.

The hospital's personalized cancer program will focus on the development and clinical application of new technologies for detecting, diagnosing, and targeting cancer, and by supporting cancer patients and their families.

The PMH Foundation said the funding will support research projects will focus on several "new and promising areas," including DNA sequencing, epigenetics, molecular imaging, nanotechnology, and immune therapy, and to renovate and expand workspaces and acquire equipment and technologies necessary for supporting cancer research and clinical care.

"Recent advances in genetics, including the ability to decode cancer genes, are leading us towards a more customized approach," Benjamin Neel, director of The Campbell Family Institute for Cancer Research at The Princess Margaret Hospital, said in a statement. "Our goal is to bring full genetic molecular profiling to all new patients in order to truly deliver Personalized Cancer Treatment."

The foundation also said the funding will be used to support psychosocial, survivorship, and palliative care programs to help patients and their families manage pain, symptoms, and side effects from treatments.

Part of the University Health Network of hospitals, PMH is focused on cancer care and its research arm is the Ontario Cancer Institute.