A letter from Dr. Tak Mak
The 2019 Rexall™ One Walk to Conquer Cancer™ will be the event’s 17th year, marking a historic point in the journey. I remember the first Walk like it was yesterday: the passion that I saw in the Walkers’ faces as I greeted them at the finish line. I was so grateful for all their accomplishments, especially their fundraising efforts to support the work at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Together we have accomplished so much – like the expansion of the first in-hospital survivorship program that is now accessible to all patients at our Cancer Centre.
Over a decade ago, my scientific discovery team began the journey to find new targets and today, we have several novel therapies and new drugs we have developed that have moved into clinical trials. To accomplish this, we created a new Therapeutics Group within the Campbell Family Institute at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
Another major accomplishment has been the creation of the Tumor Immunotherapy Program, supported by our Walkers. Co-Directors, Drs. Lillian Siu and Pam Ohashi, lead this work in Immunotherapy. Today, it is one of the biggest breakthroughs in the past decade and we believe it has the potential to revolutionize cancer therapy, as the fourth pillar of cancer treatment in addition to surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. We now have over 180 active clinical trials underway, including Canada’s first gene-engineered T-cell trial. The Princess Margaret, in part due to the Walker community, now boasts Canada’s most comprehensive immunotherapy program. This work could be effective on a number of different types of cancer and even some of the more difficult to treat today. This critical research is made possible in part by donations received from more than 68,000 participants over 16 years who have Walked the Walk! Because of OneWalk, we are advancing cancer research. Learn more about this revolutionary immunotherapy program at The Princess Margaret by clicking here.