The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation (PMHF) is very pleased to announce that a $5-million gift from Wallace and Margaret McCain will be used to establish the Wallace McCain Centre for pancreatic cancer at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH). The centre will further PMH's groundbreaking research into the causes and treatments of pancreatic cancer, as well as help establish a rapid diagnosis program.

Wallace McCain, born in Florenceville, New Brunswick, co-founded McCain Foods Limited in 1956. In 1993 he was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 1993, and in 1995 he received the Order of Canada (he was promoted to Companion in 2008). Margaret McCain was the first woman to be named Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick. Mr. McCain, a pancreatic cancer patient, and his wife currently reside in Toronto. 

Each year, approximately 4,000 Canadians are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Because of the location of the pancreas, tumours are difficult to detect and it is often the case that this type of cancer is discovered at a more advanced stage when treatment options are limited. 

The pancreatic cancer research program at PMH, headed by Dr. Malcolm Moore, is internationally acclaimed. Existing programs in cancer genetics, surgical therapy and drug development will now be further extended by Dr. Moore and his staff. Included is the establishment of a rapid diagnosis program, which will dramatically increase the speed of diagnosis for patients and provide personalized cancer medicine care to approximately 60% more patients each year.

"We are so appreciative of this generous gift from Wallace and Margaret McCain as it will allow us to give patients the best chance possible to fight this deadly disease," said Dr. Moore, Chief of Medical Services, PMH. "We will be able to do biopsies on-site and provide patients with information about their cancer and treatment options more quickly. And, we will be able to accelerate research into more targeted treatments, or 'personalized' medicine. In addition, we will be able to create a valuable tissue resource that will help researchers better understand the disease." Dr. Moore will serve as director of The Wallace McCain Centre for pancreatic cancer.

The $5-million gift from Wallace and Margaret McCain will transform treatment for patients of pancreatic cancer, the fourth-leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. More details on The Wallace McCain Centre for pancreatic cancer will be announced at a later date.

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