TORONTO, Jan. 11, 2017 /CNW/ - The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation is thrilled to announce the successful achievement of our Billion Dollar Challenge, in partnership with the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre at University Health Network. In April 2012, we launched the largest single fundraising campaign in the history of Canadian healthcare to support the creation and delivery of Personalized Cancer Medicine. The goal of the five-year challenge was to secure $500 million through philanthropy and another $500 million through research grants. With the funds we secured and the generosity of our community of supporters, we are now in the early days of delivering on our promise of Personalized Cancer Medicine.

The challenge was completed ahead of schedule. "We are pleased to announce $532 million has been secured in philanthropic support and $520 million has been secured in research grants by the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, for a total of $1,052,000,000," says Glenn Ives, Chairman, Board of Directors at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

"More than 40% of Canadians will hear, 'you have cancer,' in their lifetime," says Paul Alofs, President and CEO of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. "The Princess Margaret has an ambitious vision to Conquer Cancer In Our Lifetime. Our passion to lead the way for all Canadians in Personalized Cancer Medicine inspires us and focuses our efforts."

"This is a significant achievement that has enabled the cancer centre to expand its scientific and clinical research in key areas including epigenetics, bioinformatics, drug development, and immunotherapy," says Peter Pisters, President and CEO of UHN.  "I would like to congratulate The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and also thank the many supporters who have helped in reaching this goal, which brings us many steps closer to providing more targeted, effective therapies for patients."

Personalized Cancer Medicine is a multi-faceted, integrated approach that involves finding the right treatment, for the right patient, at the right time. With your help, The Princess Margaret is leading the way in creating this new gold standard in cancer care.

"We are grateful to the scientists and researchers who secured grants, through their work at The Princess Margaret.  It is because of their dedication and expertise granting agencies chose to support Princess Margaret's discovery research over the past five years," says Rama Khokha, Interim Director of Research at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

"At The Princess Margaret we are looking to offer tomorrow's treatment today for patients here and across the country. We are grateful for the funds that allow us to make discoveries, lead multiple clinical trials, and share the results with the cancer community around the world," says Mary Gospodarowicz, Medical Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

"The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world. Support from The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and all of our funding partners continues to enable the advances needed to reach the potential of personalized medicine. I am incredibly proud of the team of scientists and researchers," says Brad Wouters, Executive Vice President, Science and Research at UHN.

Thank you to our donors, granting agencies, event and lottery participants, volunteers, program partners, sponsors and staff. We count on your continued support to transform Personalized Cancer Medicine in order to Conquer Cancer In Our Lifetime.

About Princess Margaret Cancer Centre 

The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre has achieved an international reputation as a global leader in the fight against cancer and delivering Personalized Cancer Medicine. The Princess Margaret, one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world, is a member of the University Health Network, which also includes Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and The Michener Institute for Education at UHN. University Health Network is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto. www.theprincessmargaret.ca

About The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation 

The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation at University Health Network is raising funds to lead the way in Personalized Cancer Medicine at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world, which includes The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute and The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research. www.thepmcf.ca

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For further information: Media Contact: Kenzie Broddy, Manager, Communications, Kenzie.broddy@thepmcf.ca, T: 416.946.2396, C: 647.637.6554