A Moment for Gratitude, Reflection on the Past Year
and to Report on Your Impact as a Caring Donor.
Through the challenges of 2022, we remained focused on impact, innovation, accessibility and personalized care, THANKS to YOU!
- We re-opened the Maplesoft-Jones Centre and welcomed YOU back with the launch of an important, new Community Cancer Hub that is quickly growing to meet community needs.
- We celebrated YOUR return to in-person, record-breaking events including the Cancer Champions Breakfast, Fight for the Cure and The Hip Heals.
- We expanded collaboration with over 16 hospital and health care partners, 9 cancer support groups and associations, and 15 new community partners to better serve YOU and your loved ones.
Thank you for your generosity and dedication over the past year and for the difference you made in people’s lives. Through the power of community, thank you for being a friend in support of those on their cancer journey. With your support, we’re determined to create the best cancer care program of any city in Canada.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Your Gift in Action
In 2022 you helped grant...
and Clinical Trials
Thank You for Making Cancer Care Personal
The goal of the Community Cancer Hub is to ensure that all people living with cancer in the Ottawa Region have access to the community-based supports and resources they need for supportive care.
Meet our newest Cancer System Navigator, Alysha! A Registered Kinesiologist with experience in several areas, including oncology physical rehabilitation, Alysha loves connecting with people and wants to ensure those affected by cancer feel heard, respected, and understood.
The Impact of Your Dollars
for Cancer Support
OTTAWA COMMUNITY CANCER HUB
(Includes Workshops, Classes and Support Groups)
CANCER SYSTEM NAVIGATION PROGRAM
Spotlight on the Community HuB
In 2021, Jill Daigle was diagnosed with breast cancer. She described the situation as overwhelming and frightening. She reached out to the Community Cancer Hub and now participates in several programs, including nutrition and cooking, fitness, yoga and art therapy. The support she receives has profoundly shaped her outlook on agency, creativity, resilience and healing.
“Hope to me is medical breakthrough but it’s also exercise, nutrition and art, and love and family and friends. It’s all those things that mean I can live a good life and hopefully, someday, as someone who went through cancer a long time ago. Hope is right here, it’s in this building.” -JD August 2022
The Impact of Your Dollars
for Cancer Research and Clinical Trials
A gift to the Ottawa Cancer Foundation improves life in your community. It is because of your generosity, concern and commitment that we can support so many important research initiatives. These local innovations can have global impact.
Of the $ 2.2 million you helped raise for strategic grants to The Ottawa Hospital and BioCanRx, Canada’s immunotherapy network, here are a few examples of ground-breaking research that aimed to better prevent, detect and treat cancer in 2022.
For CAR-T Immunotherapy Research and Clinical Trials with Dr. Natasha Kekre
Your gift supported a pioneering, Canadian-first clinical trial of CAR-T cell therapy, CLIC (Canadian-Led Immunotherapies in Cancer). It uses a highly personalized kind of immunotherapy to help the patient’s T-cells recognize and kill their cancer. The results to date could open the door to a new era of made-in-Canada immunotherapies for cancer. The CLIC trial program is expanding across the country and more than a dozen people with cancer, who had exhausted all treatment options, are alive and cancer-free today because of it.
Spotlight on CAR T-cell Therapy: Using the Immune System to Fight Cancer
“I’m back to feeling as normal as I can. Obviously, there’s always the fear, but I couldn’t walk last year… I struggled a lot. But this trial changed my life…
The research team made it possible for me to have this treatment done here in Canada. For it to become more widely available in Canada would be incredible. …
Even if the cancer comes back, this has given me precious time, and I know the research will help many others. It has given me a fighting chance.” – Camille Leahy, 2022
“We’re very excited about the preliminary results of this trial, and we will be moving forward with new and exciting trials across Canada.
Canadian patients deserve access to the best cancer treatments in the world, and we need Canadian research to make this happen…” – Hematologist and Scientist Dr. Natasha Kekre, 2022
For Ovarian Cancer Research
with Dr. Barbara Vanderhyden and Dr. Carolina Ilkow
Your gift bolstered 11 wide-ranging breakthroughs in ovarian cancer research. Two significant examples from the past year include:
- Dr. Barbara Vanderhyden and her lab discovered that the diabetes drug metformim may help prevent ovarian cancer by ‘tweaking’ the organ’s immune system to prevent fibrosis in the ovary. Fibrosis, the accumulation of scar tissue that increases naturally with age, is associated with higher risks of ovarian cancer. By shifting certain cells, the drug caused a new immune cell to appear that halted the process.
- Dr. Carolina Ilkow and her colleagues developed a powerful new cancer-fighting (oncolytic) virus that sends out signals to ‘soften up’ nearby uninfected cancer cells for viral attack. This virus shrunk tumours and significantly prolonged survival in several cancer models, including ovarian cancer.
For Brain Cancer Surgery and Technology
with Dr. John Sinclair
Your gift allowed expert neurosurgeons to use specialized techniques, such as advanced brain mapping during awake brain surgery, to save lives.
Dr. Sinclair and his team perform awake brain surgeries 3 to 4 times a week, and rely on technology and surgical techniques that are directly supported by you, the donor. These include:
- 5-ALA Fluorescence Guided Surgery (and microscope), combining a medication, tool and technique that illuminates brain cancer cells making them easier to find and remove; and
- The CyberKnife radiosurgery robot, one of only 3 in Canada. It is more powerful, more accurate, and more versatile than regular radiation, and results in less discomfort, faster recovery, and better outcomes for patients. 90% of CyberKnife treatments are for brain tumours.
For Lung Cancer and Molecular Oncology
with Dr. Arif Ali Awan
In 2022, 16 important studies related to lung cancer were published. Your gift supported promising research to make the detection and treatment of lung cancer easier and more affordable.
A study led by The Ottawa Hospital’s Molecular Oncology Diagnostics Lab (MODL) concluded it could dramatically reduce the cost of “Next Generation Sequencing” (advanced molecular testing). This technology is important because it can reveal genetic mutations that make cancer cells more vulnerable to certain targeted therapies, opening up new treatment options. Research at MODL is helping to refine this technology and make it available to more patients.
Spotlight on Molecular Testing
At age 22, Haydn Bechthold was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. His all-star medical team arranged for molecular testing of his tumour. Results from the Molecular Lab revealed a unique subtype that made him eligible for a personalized immunotherapy treatment. Not only did he receive it a year in advance, the immunotherapy worked so well that the cancer disappeared before his surgery.
Haydn with a member of his medical team, Dr. Rebecca Auer.
“I’m one year cancer-free and excited for the future. There are so many advances every year in this field, especially clinical trials… A lot of the time, it’s the newest form of treatment and possibly the best, so the importance of research is massive.” -HB November 2022
Your Investments in Clinical Trials 2022
Post-Trial Follow Ups
*Provided by the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Clinical Trials Office 2023
A HEARTFELT THANK YOU
Thank you to our Corporate Partners for their generosity and support.
Thank you for YOUR generosity and for being such a good friend to those facing cancer who needed your help.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to a member of our team at any time if you have questions or would like further information about our work, our engagement, and our impact.
More than 6,000 Ottawa residents are diagnosed with cancer every year. There is much more work to be done.
Thank you for your dedication to our shared mission, and please consider your next gift for life-changing care.