October 15, 2014

“This is a golden day,” stated Paul Alofs, President & CEO of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation “We are announcing a key milestone in our five-year Billion Dollar Challenge to lead the way in Personalized Cancer Medicine with an unprecedented investment in people, purpose-built space and technology. This will further the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre’s position as one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world.”

The Princess Margaret Cancer campus will add 113,000 square feet to its downtown Toronto footprint. This now includes ten of the 14 floors of the Toronto Medical Discovery Tower at the corner of College and Elizabeth Streets, which will be renamed The Princess Margaret Cancer Research Tower. This is the largest-ever research expansion for The Princess Margaret, and will free up space at 610 and 620 University Avenue for additional clinical care.

Building on a team of more than a thousand researchers, trainees and staff, taking our research team to over 1,300, the Billion Dollar Challenge has already facilitated the recruitment of 26 international cancer experts and their teams, totaling 91 staff, which will increase to approximately 200 by the end of the Challenge. This is unprecedented in The Princess Margaret’s history. With a focus on Personalized Cancer Medicine in areas like genetic sequencing, immune therapy, molecular imaging, epigenetics and nanotechnology, these talented individuals are bringing The Princess Margaret closer to its mission of conquering cancer in our lifetime.

“The Princess Margaret has a leading role in moving precision treatments from the lab to the clinic,” said Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, Medical Director of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. “Personalized Cancer Medicine will continue to evolve as we strive for more successful treatments with fewer side effects for patients. We are building the strategy and new treatment protocols at The Princess Margaret, and will share them with the world.”

There are significant plans to transform both clinical and research space on the first five floors of the existing cancer centre. Planning and architectural development are already underway. These investments demonstrate The Princess Margaret’s commitment to deliver on the promise of Personalized Cancer Medicine, the new gold standard in cancer care.

Punctuating today’s announcement was a unique gift made on behalf of nine of Canada’s leading gold mining companies. Six gold bars weighing a total of 2,400 troy ounces with a total value of more than $3.28 million, were unveiled by Ian Telfer, a patient at The Princess Margaret and Chairman of Goldcorp Inc., who was representing the Canadian gold mining industry. This support from gold mining companies represents a major commitment to conquering cancer at The Princess Margaret. Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., Barrick Gold Corporation, Goldcorp Inc., IAMGOLD, Kinross Gold Corporation, New Gold Inc., Primero Mining Corp., Silver Wheaton Corp. and Yamana Gold Inc. all contributed to the gift. These generous donations kick off the next phase of fundraising for The PMCF’s Billion Dollar Challenge.

“I’ve benefited personally from the extraordinary work being done by The Princess Margaret,” said Ian Telfer, Chairman of Goldcorp Inc. “The Canadian gold mining industry is the world leader, and we are proud to support one of the world leaders in cancer research and care. The Canadian gold mining sector believes in The Princess Margaret’s commitment to conquering cancer.”  

“We are half way through the Billion Dollar Challenge and are well ahead of plan,” stated Paul Alofs. “Forty per cent of Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetimes. It is the leading cause of death in Canada. Bold visions with big impact require big funding. This is not something we shy away from at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. We are so appreciative of the support from our community.”

Investments such as those announced today further the significant impact that The Princess Margaret has in leading the way in Personalized Cancer Medicine.  To date, more than 2,000 patients have had their cancers molecularly profiled and have personalized cancer treatment plans. Additionally, close to 40 Personalized Cancer Medicine strategic initiatives are underway. Funds are still needed to continue the revolution in cancer care at The Princess Margaret.

The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation launched its Billion Dollar Challenge in April 2012. To date, this five-year challenge has raised $285 million through philanthropy with $291 million secured through competitive grants for a total of $576 million, representing almost 58 per cent of our target. To donate to Personalized Cancer Medicine at The Princess Margaret, please visit
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