Soirée en or: $6,5 million to fight lung, esophageal, and stomach cancers
Montréal, November 6, 2019 − The third edition of the Montreal General Hospital Foundation’s Soirée en or Gala in collaboration with Cedars Cancer Foundation announced a record $6,5 million to support patient care and advanced research for the treatment of lung, esophageal and stomach cancers through the Division of Thoracic Surgery. Thanks to the 375 guests who attended this fun and flavourful evening and especially to the Aune Foundation, who surprised guests with their announcement of a $5 million donation, to fund research in Thoracic Oncology.
Across the country, lung, esophageal and stomach cancers are the fastest growing and most lethal types of cancers, with a five-year survival rate of less than 20%.
“Our donors are committed to the fight against thoracic cancers and we are proud to see their support grow year after year,” says Jean-Guy Gourdeau, President and CEO of the Montreal General Hospital Foundation. “Our Foundation has launched CODE LiFE Campaign, which aims to raise funds for the Centres of Excellence based at the Montreal General, such as the Division of Thoracic Surgical Oncology. Through our Campaign and annual events like this Gala, our goal is to provide our medical teams with the support they need to deliver vital care to the community.”
The Montreal General Hospital’s esophageal cancer program receives the most patients across Canada and is also home to one of the largest lung cancer programs in the country. In addition, the MGH-based thoracic surgery program is the only one in the province to have received the Minister of Health’s Level 4 designation for lung cancer, denoting that it offers the highest standard of integrated patient care, research and education in Quebec. It offers a “one-stop shop” approach to complex cancer care. The team, led by Dr. Lorenzo Ferri, works closely with hospitals and patients across Quebec, including the Jewish General, St. Mary’s, Lakeshore General, Verdun, and Gatineau hospitals, as well as the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Sherbrooke (CHUS) and the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CHUQ). Cutting-edge equipment, such as an ultrasound machine and specialized gastroscopes and bronchoscopes, enable immediate assessment of tumours, to ensure centralized, personalized cancer care for patients.
At the national and international level, the team of clinician-researchers has distinguished itself both by the quality of patient care and by the innovation it has demonstrated in its various research endeavours. Among other things, MGH researchers are working on identifying new personalized medicine approaches to fight cancer, using one of the world’s largest living biobanks. The Biobank allows for the testing of chemotherapy drugs ‘ex vivo’ (outside the patient’s body), which is unique to the Montreal General Hospital lab and is a level of research unparalleled in North America. This promises to completely revolutionize the way we give chemotherapy to patients with cancer and make great strides in new treatments for these devastating cancers.