Today, the London Health Sciences Foundation (LHSF) is pleased to announce the continuation of a long-standing partnership with the Breast Cancer Society of Canada (BCSC) as they have made a $2.5 million commitment through 2030 for breast cancer research. In honour of this generous partnership, the current Pamela Greenaway-Kohlmeier Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit at London Health Sciences Centre’s (LHSC) London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP) will be renamed as the Breast Cancer Society of Canada Translational Research Unit at LRCP.
The partnership between the BCSC and LHSF began in 1998 and has continued to flourish, with a total of $10.4 million total to be donated from this partnership since its inception, including today’s announcement.
"Today, we are delighted to announce the renewal of our funding commitment and the continuation of our support of the outstanding team of breast researchers at London Health Sciences Centre,” said Kimberly Carson, CEO at BSCS. “BCSC is proud to have supported LHSC and to have shared in their breast cancer research accomplishments for almost 25 years. We look forward to the advancements in breast cancer research and to improving the lives of breast cancer patients with this renewed commitment."
This extended commitment will continue to support the BCSC’s vision of a Centre of Excellence in Breast Cancer Research at LHSC, as well as fund items such as traineeships, a senior scientist to lead the research teams and Catalyst grants.
“The long-standing partnership with BCSC has allowed London to become a leader in translational breast cancer research and has established our presence on a national and international level,” said Dr. Alison Allan, Director, BCSC Translational Research Unit “Their continuous support is vital in providing us the opportunity to continue working on the critical projects that will benefit patients.”
The BCSC Translational Research Unit team is focused on the understanding, prevention, tracking and treatment of metastatic breast cancer, as more than 90% of all breast cancer deaths are due to cancer that has spread which is typically harder to treat. Originally born out of a BCSC-funded Catalyst grant, Dr. Allan and her team are working alongside several oncologists in the clinical/translational area of the centre to develop and test new approaches for blood biomarkers that help track the spread of metastases in the blood of breast cancer patients. This work has the potential to detect the disease earlier, understand the characteristics of the disease, and inform treatment options for more personalized care. In addition, the team is studying why and how lung cancer develops in patients with breast cancer to treat and ideally prevent metastasis from happening.
In addition to ongoing research, the partnership with BCSC helps to fund 10 to 15 graduate students and postdoctoral/clinical fellows each year through a competitive traineeship program. BCSC funding support of these talented trainees allows them to carry out innovative research studies related to breast cancer metastasis in laboratories across the city and serves to train the next generation of breast cancer researchers that will make a difference for patients now and in the future.
“Partnerships like this one are critical to LHSC and its cancer research enterprise,” said John MacFarlane, President and CEO at LHSF. “It is with the help of generous donors, like the Breast Cancer Society of Canada, that ground-breaking research is conducted to ultimately help patients in need at our hospital and beyond.”
About London Health Sciences Foundation (LHSF) is a Canada Revenue Agency registered charity accredited by Imagine Canada linking our community and health care experts - including physicians, allied professionals, researchers, staff and educators - together in pursuit of medical excellence at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and Lawson Health Research Institute (Lawson). Established to strengthen LHSC’s ability to provide the highest quality health care for patients in Southwestern Ontario and beyond, LHSF offers opportunities to support discovery and innovation in research, education and patient care at our hospital. To see how donations enable extraordinary care, visit www.lhsf.ca.
For more information about LHSF, please contact:
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London Health Sciences Foundation
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The Breast Cancer Society of Canada is a registered, national, not-for-profit, charitable organization dedicated to funding Canadian breast cancer research into the detection, prevention, treatment and to ultimately find a cure for the disease that women fear most. For more information please visit www.bcsc.ca