History of Discovery and Innovation
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre boasts a rich history of discovery and innovation. Here are some of our major discoveries:
Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch discover stem cells.
Dr. Tak Mak discovers the T-cell receptor, which in many ways provided the Rosetta Stone for all subsequent work on the adaptive immune system.
First North American installation of full-field digital mammography at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Mount Sinai Hospital, enabling earlier diagnosis of breast cancer with less radiation.
Dr. Norman Boyd identifies breast density as a major risk factor for breast cancer and later demonstrates that it is highly inheritable.
Dr. John Dick identifies colon cancer stem cells.
Drs. Frances Shepherd, Ming Tsao, and Igor Jurisica identify gene ‘signature’ that predicts lung cancer patients’ response to chemotherapy in combination with surgery.
Dr. John Dick purifies the blood stem cell into a single stem cell capable of regenerating the entire blood system.
Dr. Rodger Tiedemann discovers mechanisms of Velcade resistance in multiple myeloma, illuminating the root cause of multiple myeloma relapse.
Dr. Tak Mak receives Health Canada and U.S. FDA clearance for a new anticancer agent that will target an enzyme called PLK4, which plays a crucial role in the process of cancer cell division. The anticancer agent moved into Phase I clinical trial in early 2014.
Drs. John Cho and Marc de Perrot discover that radiation therapy prior to surgery doubles survival rates in mesothelioma patients.
Dr. Robert Bristow develops a genetic test to identify which men are at highest risk for their prostate cancer to return following surgery or radiation.
Dr. Daniel De Carvalho discovers a mechanism to mimic a virus and potentially trigger an immune response that targets colon cancer stem cells and fights the cancer like an infection.
Dr. John Dick discovers a completely new view of how blood is made.
Dr. Thomas Kislinger, and his team of prostate researchers, discovers biomarkers using non-invasive liquid biopsies to identify aggressive disease before surgery.
Dr. Robert Bristow and colleagues publish research in Nature on a genetic fingerprint that explains why some prostate cancer patients develop aggressive disease that spreads.