Toronto (April 18, 2007) - Two internationally acclaimed cancer centres announced a partnership today to achieve their shared vision of advancing world-class cancer care that will ultimately reach well beyond the walls of their respective institutions.

The two cancer centres are Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) of the University Health Network (UHN), and the Centro Di Riferimento Oncologico (CRO-Oncological Referral Centre, National Cancer Institute), of Aviano, Italy.

At a ceremony at Queen's Park, the two centres signed a memorandum of understanding establishing the principles and framework to pool their renowned cancer knowledge and specialized expertise, support innovation in cancer education programs, promote E-health initiatives, and create opportunities for joint ventures.

Signing on behalf of UHN were Dr. Robert Bell, President & CEO, and Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, Medical Director of the Cancer Program at PMH/UHN. Signing on behalf of CRO was Dr. Paolo De Paoli, Legal Representative.

Said Dr. Bell: "Our fine institutions may be separated by an ocean but they are united by a common vision to promote and expand the dissemination of best practices in all aspects of cancer research and care. This is the way to achieve global impact and truly provide what we all strive to do every step along the way -- the best patient care."

"We will collaborate to enhance the academic and research opportunities, and also share information about best practice in clinical trials, education, and patient care," said Dr. Gospodarowicz. "Through these endeavours, we will create new opportunities to work on joint ventures that will ultimately benefit cancer patients worldwide." she added.

Deputy Premier George Smitherman, Ontario's Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, and Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Economic Development and Trade were official witnesses to the signing.

"I am thrilled that these two terrific organizations will be working so closely together in combating cancer. This deadliest of scourges knows no boundaries in terms of countries. Neither should the fight to make cancer an historical footnote," said Ms. Pupatello, who is also MPP for Windsor West and Minister Responsible for Women's Issues.

"Princess Margaret Hospital is one of the world's leading cancer centres providing excellent care, research and teaching opportunities that benefit patients in Toronto and across the province," said George Smitherman, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "This partnership will allow Princess Margaret Hospital to look beyond its traditional borders and leverage international expertise in the fight against cancer."

About The Centro di Riferimento

The Centro di Riferimento (CRO-Oncological Referral Centre, National Cancer Institute), of Aviano, Italy, is dedicated to clinical research with the aim of improving understanding of the causes and biology of malignant tumours, as well as identifying new means of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

About Princess Margaret Hospital

Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm, Ontario Cancer Institute, have achieved an international reputation as global leaders in the fight against cancer. PMH is a member of the University Health Network, which also includes Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. All three are research and teaching and research hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto.

Media Contact

Phone: 416 340 4636

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