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A shared vision of life without cancer

No. 48c | 26/09/2017 | by Koh

Two leading cancer research centres with a shared vision of life without cancer today announced they will collaborate to advance world-class research programs and education to benefit patients around the globe. The partners – Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, and the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum "DKFZ"), Heidelberg, – signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Toronto establishing the principles and framework for their collaboration.

Signing of the MoU: Prof. Michael Baumann, Chairman of the Board and Scientific Director DKFZ; Prof. Josef Puchta, Administrative Director DKFZ; Dr. Peter Pisters, President and Chief Executive Officer University Health Network, Toronto, Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, Medical Director, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
© Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Under terms of the MOU, the partners will share best-practice information in basic, translational and clinical research, support innovation in cancer research programs, establish a joint clinician and medical scientist program, and promote faculty, student and trainee exchange visits. Signing on behalf of the Princess Margaret, Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, Medical Director, said: "Cancer is a growing health problem in the world. To achieve the best future outcomes requires concerted collaborations to accelerate progress.

"The partnership between DKFZ and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre will provide an international platform for generating new ideas, exchanging information, and creating new opportunities in research and education with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes and conquering cancer."

On behalf of DKFZ, Dr. Michael Baumann, Chairman and Scientific Director,
and Dr. Josef Puchta signed the memorandum. Baumann said: "The international leading research centers DKFZ and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre have many similarities that make this partnership a natural choice for establishing a transatlantic patient-oriented cancer research platform. "With joint bilateral research projects and a new international clinician and medical scientist program, the cooperation will be a powerful driver of innovative cancer research at a global level."

Dr. Otmar Wiestler, President of the Helmholtz Association of national research centres of which DKFZ is a member, said both institutions perform cutting-edge research that contributes substantially to solving the grand challenges of cancer.

"In order to achieve our ambitious goals, we need to promote the best young talents," Dr. Wiestler said. "With the new partnership between our colleagues in Heidelberg and Toronto, we can develop a ground-breaking bi-national model to train the next generation of brilliant clinician and medical scientists. It will also establish a strong basis for cooperative projects in personalized oncology."

The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) with its more than 3,000 employees is the largest biomedical research institute in Germany. At DKFZ, more than 1,000 scientists investigate how cancer develops, identify cancer risk factors and endeavor to find new strategies to prevent people from getting cancer. They develop novel approaches to make tumor diagnosis more precise and treatment of cancer patients more successful. The staff of the Cancer Information Service (KID) offers information about the widespread disease of cancer for patients, their families, and the general public. Jointly with Heidelberg University Hospital, DKFZ has established the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg, where promising approaches from cancer research are translated into the clinic. In the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK), one of six German Centers for Health Research, DKFZ maintains translational centers at seven university partnering sites. Combining excellent university hospitals with high-profile research at a Helmholtz Center is an important contribution to improving the chances of cancer patients. DKFZ is a member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers, with ninety percent of its funding coming from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the remaining ten percent from the State of Baden-Württemberg.

About Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network
The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre has achieved an international reputation as a global leader in the fight against cancer and delivering personalized cancer medicine. The Princess Margaret, one of the top five international cancer research centres, is a member of the University Health Network, which also includes Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the Michener Institute for Education; all affiliated with the University of Toronto. For more information, go to or .


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