$2.7 M for Patient Care and Research on Lung, Stomach and Esophageal Cancer
2nd Edition of Soirée en or – Another Great Display of Community Support
The Montreal General Hospital Foundation and the Cedars Cancer Foundation joined forces again this year to co-host the second edition of the Soirée en Or gala, with proceeds going to the Program for Innovative Therapeutics in Chest and Esophago-Gastric Cancers. This event and other activities have raised $2.7 million to improve care and treatment for patients dealing with lung, stomach and esophageal cancers.
‟We are extremely proud to be able to support the tremendous work of our thoracic surgery team whose innovative approach has impacted the lives of so many patients. Mentions Jean-Guy Gourdeau, President and CEO of the Montreal General Hospital Foundation. In cases like these, the support of our community proves to be vital. That is why we invite people, not only from Montreal but from all over the province, to give to the CODE LiFE Campaign, to help provide equipment, funding and resources to our amazing medical teams.”
‟Collaboration between our multi-disciplinary teams of healthcare professionals and our Foundations enables us, through the generosity of our donors and the power of philanthropy, to provide our patients with the best care possible’’ mentions Jeff Shamie, President and CEO of the Cedars cancer Foundation.
Defying the odds
These cancers generally have a poor prognosis, with five-year survival rates of between 15% and 20%. However, there have been remarkable advances in the treatment of lung and esophageal/gastric cancer in the past five to ten years, and surgeons at the Montreal General Hospital (MGH) have contributed directly to many of them.
‟The Montreal General Hospital Centre for Innovative Therapeutics in Chest and Esophago-gastric cancers was developed in the past 5 years as our medical teams recognized that certain needs were to be met in terms of patient care” explains Dr. Lorenzo Ferri, Director of the Division of Thoracic Surgery and the Upper Gastrointestinal Cancer Program at the MGH. ‟Its goal is to improve patients’ experience and the care they get as well as to maximize the chances of curing their cancer. ”
In order to do so, the program follows three platforms:
- Improving processes of care through methods of enhanced recovery to allow the patients to have improved quality of life and to recover from the surgery much quicker;
- Developing and establishing novel minimally invasive surgical techniques to remove cancers and even, for some cases when cancers are diagnosed at a very early stage, incision-less surgeries;
- Relying on precision medicine, a whole new way of developing personalized treatments based on the genetic mutations of a person’s tumor to maximize the chances of survival and limit side effects on patients.
The more integrated our multidisciplinary teams are around a specific type of cancer, particularly with regards to the management of cancers whose complexity requires significant input from a number of specialties, the more effective we are in caring for our patients” mentions Dr. Armen Aprikian, Chair of the MUHC Cancer Mission.
New laboratories for better, personalized treatments
Funds raised during the 2017 edition of Soirée en or were mostly dedicated towards building a precision medicine laboratory. Tissues removed during surgery are taken to the new Wajcer Vatch lab, analyzed at the molecular level (DNA level) and used to create patient avatars of live tumor cells. These avatars will be used to test different mutations and drugs, to find out which ones actually work before having to give anything to the patient, therefore limiting the side effects.
At the forefront of minimally invasive surgery
The Montreal General Hospital and The Cedars Cancer Centre at the MUHC are home to the largest esophageal cancer program in Canada, and one of the largest lung cancer programs in the country. The McGill Thoracic Surgery program based at the MGH has also been recognized as a Centre of Excellence, indicating that it offers the highest standards of integrated patient care, research, and education in Quebec. All surgeries for these cancers are performed at the MGH, while medical oncology, radiation oncology, supportive and palliative cares are mostly delivered at Cedars Cancer Centre.
The Thoracic Surgery program has incorporated numerous cutting-edge therapies for both esophageal and lung cancer, helping patients to recover from surgery more quickly. For example, at the MGH, certain esophageal cancer patients have even benefited from innovative, incision-free surgery. Called “endoscopic submucosal dissection”, the procedure involves removing the cancer cells through the mouth instead of making a long incision in the abdomen and chest to take out the esophagus and stomach. In 2005, the MGH was the first hospital in North America to perform such a technique and its thoracic surgery program is still the largest program to do so.
For lung cancer as well, innovative surgical techniques have been implemented in order to reduce the impact on the patient’s body and the pain associated with it. To this day, approximately 70 to 80% of all lung cancer surgeries done at the MGH are performed through minimally invasive techniques (also called keyhole surgery), one of the highest rates in North America.
To support the Program for Innovative Therapeutics in Chest and Esophago-Gastric Cancers, click here.
About the Montreal General Hospital Foundation
The Montreal General Hospital Foundation’s mission is to providevital support for vital care. The Foundation is mandated to raise money, manage significant funds, and invest responsibly in healthcare research, training and technology at the Montreal General Hospital (MGH), the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and more broadly, within the McGill academic health network. We work in close partnership with donors and dedicated collaborators to raise awareness and foster excellence in vital care to all patients, present and future.
About the Cedars Cancer Foundation
The Cedars Cancer Foundation is a hospital-based charity whose mission is to provide comprehensive cancer care for all cancer patients – pediatric, adolescent and young adult, adults and those in palliative care – who are being treated at the McGill University Health Centre. As a result of its fundraising efforts the Cedars Cancer Foundation supports exceptional patient care, purchases state-of-the-art equipment, funds patient-support programs, builds and sustains awareness of cancer-related issues and Invests in cancer research, patient education and professional training.
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