Today, London Health Sciences Foundation (LHSF) announced a matching gift of $1.7 million gift from Kirk Baines and the Gerald C. Baines Foundation, in support of the London Regional Cancer Program’s (LRCP) Gerald C. Baines Centre for Translational Cancer Research at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). This transformational gift will allow the team at the Baines Centre to scale up existing resources, personnel and clinical trials as well as provide the opportunity to pursue a new area of cancer diagnosis and therapy called computational theranostics.
The Gerald C. Baines Centre for Translational Cancer Research was established in 2010 to provide a physical space to enable translational cancer research in London at LHSC. The Baines Centre has created the opportunity to have the expertise of scientists and clinicians in one space with patients in close proximity. These factors have all contributed to the ability to conduct successful clinical trials and groundbreaking imaging research aimed at improving patient care.
“Translational research brings together the clinicians who see cancer problems every day and the basic scientists who investigate the mechanisms of how cancer behaves and how to treat it,” said Dr. Glenn Bauman, Radiation Oncologist at LHSC and Director, Centre for Translational Cancer Research. “The Baines Centre provides the opportunity to enhance the effectiveness of both disciplines and ultimately impact patient care.”
This transformational gift will provide much needed funds to further explore and develop novel theranostics capabilities, which brings imaging and therapy together. It will enable the creation of an endowed chair focused on computational theranostics along with the development of an entirely new laboratory and research program within this research area.
“Theranostics involves the development of novel injectable substances like therapeutic isotopes or drugs, which are designed to target and treat cancer cells in the body but are also traceable using imaging,” said Dr. David Palma, Radiation Oncologist and Clinician-Scientist at LHSC. “This allows medical specialists to see and treat cancer at the same time.”
Kirk Baines and the Baines family have been steadfast supporters of the community in which they live and call home. With continued investment into science and healthcare at LHSC, Kirk and the Gerald C. Baines Foundation are helping fundamentally change how cancer is analyzed, understood and treated.
“We want to give physicians and scientists the tools that they need to develop new cancer treatments that can help save lives,” said Kirk Baines, Chair of the Gerald C. Baines Foundation. "My hope is that we can eventually make cancer a treatable disease and not a fatal one.”
The $1.7 million matching gift is only the first step in a larger $5.6 million vision for the Gerald C. Baines Centre for Translational Cancer Research. Additional funds will provide sustainability, improved next-generation computing and data storage, upgrades in radiochemistry instrumentation and the advancement of state-of-the-art artificial intelligence tools aimed at enhancing physicians' capabilities in diagnosing and treating cancer, while also expanding the scope of innovative clinical trials and health research initiatives.
“The ability to perform groundbreaking research and transform patient care is only made possible through the support of our generous donors,” said John MacFarlane, President and CEO of London Health Sciences Foundation. “This transformational gift is a launching pad for a match campaign to help close the gap in the $5.6 million vision for the Baines Centre.”
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