Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive disease where many people are diagnosed with advanced disease. It can be difficult to detect as symptoms are often vague and can continue for months before people visit their doctor. As part of the GI cancer group at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, there is a team of dedicated professionals focused on providing excellent care to individuals with pancreatic cancer. In March of 2011 Wallace and Margaret McCain generously donated $5 million dollars with the focus of improving care for this complex group of patients. Wallace McCain himself battled pancreatic cancer for 14 months until his death in May 2011.
Margaret McCain expressed how they appreciated the care her husband had received, especially during the time of Mr. McCain’s diagnosis. They understood that for some individuals, this can be a difficult and often prolonged period. Their hope was that the donation could help to ensure all patients with pancreatic cancer coming to Princess Margaret Cancer Centre receive the highest quality care with timely diagnosis and treatment plans.
Since the donation in 2011, we have developed the Wallace McCain Centre for Pancreatic Cancer whose vision is ‘To be the global leader in comprehensive pancreatic cancer care’. Princess Margaret Cancer Centre has the highest quality professionals providing care to this population and the donation helps ensure the care of each individual is integrated within this multidisciplinary team. This has included the hiring of a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) to assess the care path of this population and ensure rapid diagnosis and initiation of treatment. The McCain Centre and the CNS are also focusing on the experience of the pancreatic cancer patient and their family to provide an early and ongoing connection with patients so they are linked to appropriate resources and information when needed.
As of July 2015, the Wallace McCain Centre for Pancreatic Cancer is co-chaired by Dr. Jennifer Knox, medical oncologist and Gastrointestinal (GI) Oncology lead Dr. Steven Gallinger, Hepatobiliary/Pancreatic Surgical Oncologist. Both provide direct care to individuals with pancreatic cancer and are committed to research and academic developments to improve the care and long-term survival for those fighting this deadly disease. The Wallace McCain Centre for Pancreatic Cancer has an ongoing mission to continue to advance the quality care provided for this population and will develop new and innovative ways to improve the outcomes for those battling pancreatic cancer.