HELPING HAND R O B E R T
M A G G I E
B R A S
A N D
F A M I L Y
N E W
D R U G
D E V E L O P M E N T
WE THANK YOU Welcome to our fifth edition of ‘Helping Hand’. We are The Robert & Maggie Bras and Family New Drug Development Program at The Princess Margaret, a hospital and research centre that has earned an international reputation for excellence in both patient care and cancer research. We are recognized as one of the top five cancer facilities in the world.
P R O G R A M
within Princess Margaret Hospital to house our program. With the importance being placed on new drug development by The University Health Network, The Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), and it’s research arm, the Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI), we were awarded 5,000 square feet of space on the 5th floor of PMH where a state of the art centre, with the vision created and donated by Brian Gluckstein of Gluckstein Design, was officially opened in the Autumn of 2005.
Today, we have outgrown our centre on the fifth floor, and have spilled over to a rented house, and into MaRS. As of Maggie and Robert Bras had a desire to ‘give back’. We July 1st, 2008 we consist of: 1 director; 2 co-directors; 1 wished to ‘give back’ to an institution – the Princess Margaret staff physician; 2 program managers; 1 administrative Hospital in Toronto, that gave such excellent care to Robert coordinator; 1 reception/assistant; 3 assistants to the during his battle with the disease we call cancer. We asked doctors; 28 clinical study coordinators; 12 nurses; 2 research the question of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation – assistants; 1 correlative studies coordinator; 1 manager of “where would a Bras endowment give the most impact in the correlative studies and OTRN program; 1 lab technician; 1 fight to conquer cancer”. Their answer – “invest in new drug pharmacist; 1 biostatistician; 6 Fellows; 1 clinical associate development.“ and 5 summer students! In January of 2001, Dr. Malcolm Moore, head of the Division After years of hard work, the program has garnered the of Medical Oncology and Hematology became the director credibility and international reputation needed to be chosen of the program, along with co-directors, Drs. Amit Oza and by pharmaceutical companies and large government agencies Lillian Siu. As I type these three doctor’s names, it is with awe for testing the most promising new cancer drugs. Recently, and admiration, as each has garnered world attention as top three pharmaceutical companies have named us the best in researchers, scientists and oncologists in their chosen field. the world! This is obviously a wonderful opportunity for The program was to be comprised of a multi-disciplinary patients as well as an endorsement of the people who run the team devoted to researching and developing new agents program. and therapies to eradicate cancer, primarily through early phase clinical trials. The Bras Family Drug Development The Bras Drug Program conducts Phase I and II Clinical Program would also work in concert with the OCI’s drug Trials, introducing new agents into the clinical arena which discovery program to uncover biomarkers that will enable starts with first-in-man studies of new drugs or combinations more targeted and effective drugs. of drugs (Phase I). These are highly specialized studies that need to be conducted very carefully, looking for safety, By the end of 2001, we not only had one director and two co- tolerability, toxicity and perhaps early hints of activity. Phase directors but a staff consisting of 1 program manager, 3 study II studies take doses and schedules established in Phase coordinators, 4 nurses, 1 lab technician, 1 administrative I, and formally evaluate them in specific cancers for their coordinator, 1 clinical fellow and 1 biostatistician. In 2003, effectiveness. We currently have 18 open Consortium NCI we had 11 study coordinators, 6 nurses, 2 administrative trials and approximately 48 open industry-related NCIC and coordinators and 4 fellows! In-House Trials. Our large portfolio of Phase I and II studies are gaining our centre both national and international We were growing in leaps and bounds and had to find a home recognition. (cont’ d next pg.) “If you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms – one for helping yourself and one for helping others.” - Anonymous
WE THANK YOU (CONTINUED) The PMH Phase I consortium (led by the Bras Family DDP, with Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton as a sub site), received an official award in April 2008 of a 5-year Phase I grant from the U.S. National Cancer Institute, totaling about $3 million USD. The funding will ensure patients have access to the most novel anticancer agents while continuing to bolster clinical and translational research at PMH/ OCI. The application was one of only two new applications awarded in this cycle and the only non-U.S. site to receive a U.S. National Cancer Institute Phase I grant!
have increased access to innovative investigational trials. Patient accrual has also been growing every year with strong physician leadership as the key to the success of the program. Another critical factor in the success of the DDP is the comprehensive and talented team that work behind the scenes to make sure trials are available for patients.
Our challenge is to continue to improve treatment for cancer. Our success is measured not only by the quality and rigor of our work, but also the impact we have on patients and their families. The program continues to succeed because of the The backbone of the Phase II program is our contract with dedication and enthusiasm of our entire team toward the the U.S. National Cancer Institute. We successfully re- goal of providing longer and better lives for cancer patients. competed for a new contract worth $7.5 million USD for another five years, starting in January 2006, in a very Sadly, Robert lost his battle with cancer on September competitive selection process. We remain one of only nine 4, 2002. As I said in my last newsletter and I will say it such contract holders in North America, and the only site again, I cannot thank him enough for inspiring me daily outside of the U.S. and giving me the courage to carry on the battle he waged so valiantly with grace, dignity and hope. I am inspired also We are proud to lead a consortium of 16 other cancer sites, by the dedication of our staff and the staff within PMH who two of which are in the U.S., allowing several novel anticancer tirelessly work toward our goal, and I challenge you to work drugs to be used in Canada, many for the first time. toward the goal with them and me – to conquer cancer – IN OUR LIFETIME. Translating the results of early phase clinical trials into treatments that change the standard of care is the ultimate Thank you to our donors. Your contribution to our program validation of a new drug. The Bras Family DDP continues are used for the highest priorities – fellowship assistance, to work closely with colleagues from the National Cancer equipment, new facilities and technical support of clinical Institute (NCIC) Clinical Trials Group, which has led many trials – that lead to new and improved treatments. We thank Phase III trials that have established new and improved you! treatments for many cancers. These studies continue to have major impact on countless patients around the world. Sincerely, The Bras Family DDP also collaborates with site groups throughout PMH/OCI. Principal investigators from PMH with some recent studies that have changed the standard of care for different cancers include: Maggie Bras President, Advisory Committee • Malcolm Moore – Erlotinib in Pancreatic Cancer www.brasfamily.com • Frances Shepherd – Erlotinib in Lung Cancer • Ian Tannock – Docetaxel and Mitoxantrone in advanced prostate cancer. In sum, the Bras Family Drug Development Program has grown since it began in 2001, allowing patients, to
In Memory of Dr. Annie Smith: Educator, author, illustrator, tennis player, sailor, folk singer, storyteller. Born November 21, 1940 in upstate New York; died October 31, 2007 in Toronto of Ovarian cancer – aged 66. You will be forever in my heart and the hearts of those you touched. The world is a far better place because you were in it. Maggie Bras “To Love is Life .....To Give is to Live.” - Maggie Bras
MESSAGE FROM PAUL ALOFS
e believe that the words CONQUER CANCER IN OUR LIFETIME are a call to action for everyone, because each one of us is vital in keeping up the momentum. Very few of us have not been affected by cancer in some way. Most of you reading this newsletter have played an important role by supporting the Robert & Maggie Bras and Family New Drug Development Program at The Princess Margaret. Your support of this exceptional program has helped to make our hospital one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world. We are extremely grateful for each and every contribution—it is the ‘power of many’ that will finish the fight. Our goal is to build the Bras Program’s capacity to rapidly move promising cancer drugs from discovery to the clinic. On Thursday, October 16, 2008 at The Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto, we will be hosting an exclusive Spotlight Tribute event that will feature our prominent clinician scientists - Dr. Moore, Dr. Siu and Dr. Oza among many others. The event will provide guests with an excellent opportunity not only to support the Bras Family New Drug Development Program, but will also enable them to meet our doctors in person to
hear about the work they are doing to CONQUER CANCER IN OUR LIFETIME. Helen Keller once said, “One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.” No where is this more evident in the goals of the Bras New Drug Development Program. It continues to grow in size and scope with the recruitment of bright scientists, more trials and more translational studies. The Bras Program will continue to invest in expertise and facilities to discover and develop new drugs, providing our patients with new hopes for cancer cure. We would not have been able to build our world class research program at The Princess Margaret without the support of the Bras family and you. Thanks to your commitment, the doctors and scientists at The Princess Margaret are able to do amazing work that has a tremendous impact on patients here and around the world.
Paul Alofs President & CEO The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation
GREETINGS FROM THE MAYOR OF MISSISSAUGA
rison Swett Marden once said, “there is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow”, and hope is exactly what the Robert and Maggie Bras and Family New Drug Development Program offers to patients who are suffering from cancer.
As Honorary Chair of the program, I am proud to see its transition from just a vision to becoming the flagship clinical trials program at The Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm the Ontario Cancer Institute. The Program has been recognized as a world leader for innovative drug studies and the dedicated team, under the
leadership of Dr. Malcolm Moore and co-directors Drs. Lillian Siu and Amit Oza, are devoted to researching and developing new agents and therapies to eradicate cancer which will hopefully one day result in a cure being found for this dreaded disease. I encourage everyone to lend their support to this exciting and innovative program so that we can continue to provide hope to those suffering from cancer and their families. Sincerely,
Hazel McCallion, C.M. Mayor
“The Grand Essentials of Happiness are: - Something to Do - Something to Love - and Something to Hope For” - Allan K. Chalmers
Greetings from Dr. Robert Bell The Importance of Clinical Trials in Cancer: The Bras Program Impact at PMH
he Bras New Drug Development Program does unique work in testing new drugs in several different types of cancer. The benefit of the work of the Bras Program is obvious – new drugs are evaluated and frequently added to the standard “formulary” that defines drugs that work in cancer.
Through this process of drug testing, the Bras Program has impacted the lives of so many people who need cancer treatment. However, the success of the Bras program has even more impact across the many thousands of patients treated at Princess Margaret Hospital. Indeed as so often happens when an organization is fortunate enough to have an international centre, the impact of the Bras Program extends well past the patients treated by the Bras Team. The Bras Program has demonstrated how it is possible to improve cancer care by entering many patients on clinical trials in cancer. The leadership shown by the Bras Team has now changed the approach taken to clinical trials throughout the hospital. In this past year, we have noted more than 20% of patients
are being enrolled in various clinical trials across the cancer program. This not only increases the knowledge that we develop at the cancer program – it also improves the general quality of care at PMH. To understand why care is better, it is necessary to understand the impact of trials on care. Clinical trials improve cancer care in two ways. The first way is obvious – if the trial shows that the new treatment is better than standard therapy – then care is improved. However, within the trial itself, the intense attention to all details that characterize clinical trials, means that care is improved even if the test is negative. The Bras Program has created important new knowledge about the future of cancer treatment around the world. The example of the Bras Program has had substantial effect on treatment provided to all patients at PMH – the impact of the Bras Program is even larger than we originally thought it would be.
Robert Bell, MDCM, MSc, FACS, FRCS President and CEO, University Health Network Professor, Department of Surgery, Division of Orthopedics, University of Toronto
MESSAGE FROM Dr. NEVILLE KIRCHMANN
he Bras Family New Drug On behalf of the Foundation, PMH staff and all the patients Development Team not only who benefit from the Bras Family’s commitment everyday, provides hope to cancer thank you! patients, it also provides confidence to all nurses and physicians at The Princess Margaret who can provide the most targeted, minimallyinvasive cancer treatments. Neville Kirchmann Chairman The Bras Family’s transformational The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation gift is important to the work being done by Dr. Malcolm Moore and his team in drug development. The investment in people and funding generated from this gift continues to provide innovative discoveries. The program accelerates the development of drugs that target specific cancers, rather than being a generic solution.
“Good friends are like shock absorbers. They help you take the lumps and bumps on the road of life.” - Frank Tyger
DIRECTOR’S REPORT FROM MALCOLM J. MOORE The Robert & Maggie Bras and Family New Drug Development Program
elcome to our 2008 edition of the Helping Hand. The Robert and Maggie Bras and Family New Drug Development Program continues to prosper with the support of the leadership at University Health Network and Princess Margaret Hospital, our partners in the National Cancer Institutes of Canada and the United States, our pharmaceutical company supporters and our passionate and committed donors.
of exciting new initiatives that will support and enhance our current activities. With the support of the provincial government we are creating a biospecimen bank consisting of blood and tumor from all patients who enroll in clinical trials within the Bras program. This will create an important resource to allow us to better understand why drugs are more effective in some patients than others, and why some patients experience severe side effects while others do not. This will be critical as we move towards more individualized therapy in the future. I would also like to mention the growth and such of our Fellowship Program under the direction of Lillian Siu and with the generous support of Roche and Bayer who help support some of these individuals. We attract applicants from throughout the world and presently have doctors training with us from Canada, Greece, France, Spain, Germany and Australia with new arrivals expected from Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand within the next year. This reflects the strong international reputation and global impact of the program.
There were a number of important achievements in 2007 that I would like to highlight. Foremost is the awarding of a prestigious Phase I grant from the U.S. National Cancer Institute to a group lead by Dr. Lillian Siu co-director of the Bras Family DDP. This was a very competitive process and this is the first such award given to a group outside of the United States. The award is a reflection of the outstanding quality of Lillian’s application and an acknowledgment of the international recognition for high quality work that DDP has achieved. Phase I studies are the first studies conducted in As Maggie has indicated in her message the program patients of new drugs that have shown promise in laboratory continues to grow in both size and scope. This has required and animal testing. They define the appropriate dose and us to acquire additional space for our research team at a schedule of drug and are really the critical building block couple of locations adjacent to the hospital and we hope to in bringing new therapies into the clinic. Phase I studies expand our laboratory program under the direction of Drs. require a high level of monitoring to ensure patient safety Eric Chen and David Hedley within the next year. We have and test how the drug is working against the patients been fortunate to recruit Katrina MacAlpine as the new cancer. To support the Phase I program PMH has opened Manager of the Program. Katrina has previous experience an inpatient drug development unit on the 18th floor where running clinical trials in the industrial sector and was with patients on study can be monitored and treated by a dedicated the program as an assistant manager for 2 years until her nursing staff. The Phase I program is also developing new recent promotion. relationships with laboratories at OCI and the STARR facility at MARS to support the phase I clinical trial program. While we cherish our successes we realize we still have a long We have recruited an old friend, Robin Cheiken to return to road ahead in our mission to conquer cancer. To achieve DDP and work with Lillian to manage the Phase I program. this goal we do rely on the funding from our supporters and We also have nurses and clinical data coordinators who now sponsors. We have outlined an ambitious plan over the next 5 focus solely in this important area of drug development. We years that includes closer linkages with the basic scientists at look forward to Lillian’s team bringing a number of exciting OCI, an expansion of our physical footprint, a greater ability new drugs into the treatment of patients at PMH and expect to allow for testing of drugs against tumors in the laboratory, to hear more from that program in the near future. and a program to rapidly bring Canadian discoveries into the clinic. We have welcomed the support of Ben Neel the new The Phase II program supported by the NIH also continues director of the Ontario Cancer Institute in these endeavors to grow under the leadership of Dr. Amit Oza. Our program and we are working jointly with Ben on some exciting new was renewed for an additional 5 years of funding by the US proposals. The tribute dinner planned on October 16, 2008 government and we run studies throughout Canada out of is another important initiative that will help support our our central offices at PMH within the Bras centre. We have program and we are grateful to Paul Alofs, Greg Lichti and grown to be the largest such consortium in Canada and one the team at the PMH Foundation who have worked diligently of the 3 largest in North America. We also have a number on this and other fundraising for us. (cont’ d next pg.) “The flap of a butterfly’s wings in Asia may ultimately contribute to a tornado on the other side of the world...” - Anonymous
DIRECTOR’S REPORT FROM MALCOLM J. MOORE (CONTINUED) And finally on behalf of everyone working in the Bras Drug Development Program, I would like to express our eternal gratitude to Maggie and the Bras Family for their passion, commitment and partnership in support of our mission.
Malcolm J. Moore Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, Director, Drug Development Program, Rm 5-708, Princess Margaret Hospital, 610 University Avenue, Toronto, M5G2M9 416-946-2263 [ph]; 416-946-2082 [fax] Malcolm.email@example.com
Bras Advisory Committee Starting bottom left clockwise: Amit Oza, Lillian Siu, Sandy Aird, Greg Lichti, Strachan Bongard, Paul Alofs, Mary Gospodarowicz, Malcolm Moore, Jamie Bras, Maggie Bras Absent: Robert Bell, Hazel McCallion, Jason Bras, Cherles Hanna
Bras New Drug Development Staff
“The Happiest People Do Not Necessarily Have The ‘Best’ Things, They Simply Appreciate The Things They Have” - Warren Buffet
GREETINGS FROM BEN NEEL
s one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world, The Princess Margaret is a powerhouse of scientific talent and intelligence. But intelligence alone will not CONQUER CANCER IN OUR LIFETIME. So a major focus for the past two years has been to provide our award-winning clinicians and scientists with a highly fertile working environment. We call it a culture of innovation. This year we completed a strategic planning exercise that serves as a blueprint to focus and further mobilize our team of cancer warriors. One of these major themes, New drugs and therapies, will ensure our patients have access to the most promising new drugs and treatment by pioneering our own new therapies, plus investing in the people, space, and procedures needed to run clinical trials and evaluate promising new therapies developed in other facilities.
in cancer biology have been translated into new methods of treating the disease. These new drugs are targeted at specific areas of cancer, are generally less toxic to healthy tissue and cause fewer side effects. Thank you to all the physicians, staff and donors who are committed to the success of the Bras Family New Drug Development Program. Cancer patients and their loved ones have a new hope as a result of your dedicated efforts.
Dr. Ben Neel Director Ontario Cancer Institute
We can’t do it all, but in our many areas of excellence, including The Robert & Maggie Bras and Family New Drug Development Program, we are world-leading. Major advances
Greetings from the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation
he Bras family’s generosity and commitment serve as a significant example of how our clinical investigators and research personnel can be sustained in their quest to find better cancer treatment. Because of this program, there have been great strides made in the development of better drug therapies which will have tremendous impact of the future of this disease.
many uplifting examples of success in our research and clinical programs. Every day we continue working toward realizing our vision TO CONQUER CANCER IN OUR LIFTETIME.
Greg Lichti Senior Director, Major Gifts The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation
To all the supporters of the Bras Family Drug Development Program, thank you! Your generous contributions directly support and benefit thousands of patients who are treated at the Hospital each year. In addition to improving our standards of patient care and treatment, your donations also help to give hope to those living with cancer. We are thankful and appreciative of the generosity you have extended to us. Because of such support, there are
“Real generosity toward the future consists in giving all to what is present.” - Albert Camus
THE ROBERT BRAS AND FAMILY CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT 2007
n July 9, 2007, we celebrated at The Summit Golf and Country Club, another fun filled day for The Robert Bras & Family Golf Tournament in honour of a great man – Robert Bras. Again for the fifth straight year we had a full house of golfers. To our golfers who come out year after year to raise funds for research and development of new agents and therapies to eradicate cancer, thank you. We could not have held five tournaments in Robert’s name without you. To our slew of dedicated, efficient happy volunteers, this day would not take place without your willingness to help. I have over the years been constantly amazed to have more volunteers volunteering than we require. You have been incredible! To our sponsors who jumped on board yet again, and to our
new sponsors, I am constantly gratified that you continue to say ‘YES’! Thank you. To G & A Corporate Events, who without your expertise, I would not have garnered the experience that you have loaned me without question – thank you. To The Summit Golf and Country Club – what a club – what a course! Chris, when you told me after our very first golf tournament that we could use your private course year after year, all I could do was say a big thank you, and realize how very lucky we were. Our vision at Princess Margaret Hospital is very simple: to conquer cancer – IN OUR LIFETIME. Thank you for being our partners and playing a major role. Sincerely,
Maggie Bras President, Advisory Committee www.brasfamily.com
Our event to fight cancer with the development of new drugs would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors.
“We are rich only through what we give: and poor only through what we refuse and keep.” - Anne Swetchine
THE ROBERT BRAS AND FAMILY CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT 2007
o charity event takes place without the tireless support of volunteers. Year after year, you give of your time to make sure our golfers are well looked after and in turn raise funds for a great cause – the development and testing of new drugs to treat cancer at Princess Margaret Hospital.
Once again I would like to offer my gratitude for your generosity in helping make 2007 the best! Maggie Bras President Committee Member
Annual Ride to Conquer Cancer
he first annual Ride to Conquer Cancer held June 21st and 22nd of this year, had 2,850 riders depart the CNE in Toronto and ride over 2 days to Niagara Falls. Over 100 km a day was covered by the riders for a total of 120 kilometers! Nearly 125 doctors and researchers from across Princess Margaret participated in the ride. The ride raised $14 million for Princess Margaret and medical leaders like Dr. Malcolm Moore and his team, aptly named the “Drug Peddlers”, completed the ride in fine style. The funds are going to support the highest research priorities at Princess Margaret. The Ride to Conquer Cancer is the largest cycling fundraiser in Canada thanks to riders like Dr. Malcolm Moore, Dr. Bob Bell, Dr. Ben Neel and many others. Paul Alofs President & CEO The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation
Left to right: Martha Maclean, (DDP clinical trial nurse); Sheila Webster, (DDP clinical trial nurse and team leader) Emily Moore, (Malcolm’s daughter); and Malcolm Moore (Director)
“The future that we study and plan for begins today.” - Chester O. Fischer
golf photos compliments of: Naguib Kerba, Myrwood Scott, Jenny Bras - our thanks!
STAFF PROFILE -
Dr. Christophe Le Tourneau
Roche Fellowship in New Drug Development
started a two-year fellowship program as a Clinical Research Fellow in the Robert and Maggie Bras & Family New Drug Development Program at Princess Margaret Hospital in November 2007. My planned date of completion is October 2009. I am currently involved in all aspects of the evaluation and management of patients on early phase clinical trials. In addition, I actively participate in various research activities and am involved in the design and implementation of clinical trial protocols, and clinical, translational and/or laboratory research.
already been published, and a third one is in press about predictives biomarkers of efficacy to anti-EGFR and antiVEGFR agents. Another review about an HDAC inhibitor is being peer-reviewed. The mentorship provided by the staff oncologists in the Drug Development Program will be beneficial to my future career as a clinical investigator in oncology at the Institut Curie in Paris, France. Back to France, I will integrate the clinical trial unit and run the head and neck clinic.
My research projects include a first-in-human phase I trial with a PI3K inhibitor, some phase I/II studies in head and neck cancer involving a pan-HER agent, an antiangiogenic agent and a new taxane, as well as a phase I study of immunotherapy in nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Moreover, I am currently writing as a review on phase I dose escalation methods, and on endpoints in advanced head and neck cancer. Two reviews on targeted agents in head and neck cancer have
STAFF PROFILE -
ROBIN CHEIKEN RN, BSN
obin Cheiken graduated Manger responsible for the liaison between the DDP and from Thomas Jefferson the Protocol Information Office at CTEP/NCI-US on University in Philadelphia, protocol Letters of Intent and protocol amendments. Robin Pennsylvania in 1991 with a has experience in conducting multi-centered clinical trial, Bachelor Science Degree in protocol development and data safety review. She conducted Nursing. Robin began her career the training of PMH Phase II Consortium staff throughout in oncology research as a clinical Canada and the US in serious adverse event reporting for trials nurse at the Lombardi NCI sponsored trials. Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Robin left PMH briefly to pursue other opportunities in data Center in Washington, DC. In 2000, she accepted the safety review for private industry. She returned to the DDP position as the Serious Adverse Events Manager for the in November 2007 as the Phase I Program Manager. Investigational Drug Branch in CTEP/NCI-US, where she managed the team responsible for the collection, analysis, “It is a privilege to work with an extraordinary group of and timely reporting of serious adverse events (SAE’s) to the physicians, nurses, data managers and pharmacists dedicated Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for CTEP monitored to innovative drug development for cancer therapy”. clinical investigations. Robin joined the Robert & Maggie Bras and Family New Drug Development Program in September 2002 as a Clinical Study Coordinator. In 2005, she was promoted to Assistant “The future always holds something for the man who keeps his faith in it!” - H.L. Hollis
STAFF PROFILE -
MARTHA A. MACLEAN RN, OCN
artha studied Nursing in Montreal and graduated in 1987. She moved to Toronto in 1988 and has been working at Princess Margaret Hospital for 19 years. Martha has worked in various areas within the institution; Leukemia in-patient unit, Chemotherapy Daycare Unit, Surgical Out-Patient clinics and for three years assisted with developing the Ambulatory Pump Program. She has been working as a Clinical Trials Nurse for 11 years, specifically Phase 1 trials. Martha has been a member of
the Robert & Maggie Bras and Family Drug Development Program since its inception. Patients participating in Phase 1 trials are given the chance to receive novel therapies, including “first in human” compounds. There is a tremendous sense of accomplishment to be involved in such innovative research! Phase 1 trials offer research nurses a unique opportunity to practice primary care nursing in a complex setting. There is a huge sense of fulfillment to be involved in such focused care and work with such a dedicated group of health care professionals. Everyday is exciting and provides many challenges!
TORONTO MARATHON/”5k YOUR WAY On Sunday, Oct. 19, 2008, the Walking Hand in Hand Team, of The Robert & Maggie Bras and Family New Drug Development Program, will join more than 1,000 participants in The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation’s 5k/walk/run for cancer, to raise funds for cancer research. By participating in, or sponsoring the “5k Your Way” walk/run for cancer, you will have the benefit of knowing that you are supporting friends, patients and their families’ fight to survive cancer. Together we can make a difference. Your support will help us achieve our vision – to conquer cancer IN OUR LIFETIME.
Jenny Bras and Leah Lambrakis Bras
e have exciting news to share, as once again we are taking part in the Toronto Marathon, which is being held on Sunday, October 19, 2008.
Each year, The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, raises vital funds to support breakthrough research, patient care and educational programs for Princess Margaret Hospital – Canada’s leading cancer research centre.
Please visit our website – www.handinhand5k.ca to make a donation on-line, or you can send a cheque payable to: PMHF, 610 University Avenue, 8th Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2M9. Please write the name of the event, Walking Hand in Hand 5K Walk/Run on the bottom of the cheque. Tax receipts will be issued for pledges of $15 or more. Or you can contact: Leah Lambrakis Bras @ 416.889.8674. For more information on Princess Margaret Hospital visit: www.pmhf.ca; and for more information on The Bras New Drug Development Centre – please visit: www.pmhf-uhn.ca/ Pages/DonorImpact/Drug_Development_Landing.aspx for an excellent summary of the program.
On behalf of co-chairs Leah Lambrakis Bras and Jennifer Bras, I wish to thank Dimitra and Michael Davidson for sponsoring Maggie Bras Leah Lambrakis Bras our event, and a big thank you to those who participated in President/Committee Member Chair last years Toronto Marathon for the Bras Program. We did not reach our goal of $50,000 – but we did raise $32,000 – WalkingHandinHand@gmail.com thank you! This year we are again aiming to raise $50,000. Please help us not only to achieve our goal, but to surpass it! “Life isn’t about surviving the storm - it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” - Anonymous
A Personal Story of Giving Love by Sheila Smith
“An Inspired Form of Giving Love Breathes Life into the Heart And Brings Grace to the Soul.”
read this quote recently and I must say it was a total relief to me. I have been volunteering at The Princess Margaret for nine years and I was always lost for words when it came to explaining how I felt about my work.
I am grateful for each and every day I go into Princess Margaret and have the privilege of a stranger opening up and sharing their life with me. We never have any walls to bring down, we don’t have anything to hide behind, and we know why we are both there. We just have ourselves and the present moment. All that matters are those feelings that belong to the heart. Whether they are fear based thoughts or loving grateful thoughts, they are profound, honest and very real.
I am a ‘Healing Beyond the Being privileged to walk down the road of a perfect stranger’s Body’ volunteer and work life and to love them....... in Palliative Radiation, Chemo Daycare and The Pencer Brain Tumor Centre. I sit ......breathes life into my heart and brings grace to my soul. with patients while they receive their treatment or wait for their appointments. I get them juice or wrap them in warm blankets. I answer questions, help them navigate around the hospital and most of all, give the much needed emotional support to them and their families. Many people will comment on how hard it must be, to be with people who are facing cancer and being surrounded by the emotions that go along with that. I always find people are surprised when I say I love it…it is my passion. I am not a trained psychologist or social worker nor do I have any letters after my name. I am, however, an expert on caring for and loving cancer patients. I am an expert because of the people who care and love me, my family, and my Dad while he was going through his treatment and end of life palliative care. They taught me, my Dad taught me and I am grateful for that education, as it has truly enriched my life as crazy as that sounds. Cancer took my Dad, whom I miss every day, but it gave me life. I told my Dad before he died, that I was now going to put him in my heart and we were going to do something together and this is what we do!
“When you rise in the morning, form a resolution to make the day a happy one to a fellow-creature.” - Sydney Smith
OUT OF AFRICA COMES HAZEL’S HOPE Last night I had a vision, it included you and me We stopped and looked at each other, to see what we could see. I held your frail body and I gazed into your eyes And I saw the whole world over and for a moment I realized, How little I’ve paid attention to what is happening all around; I haven’t noticed the crying children and souls put in the ground, I hadn’t missed your parents, even though they can’t be seen And I hadn’t noticed your hunger or the dryness in the stream. You see I have been very busy getting everything that’s best, Because here we measure material things as a sign of true success. But as I look much closer and read the stories in your eyes, All the things I bought mean nothing, if I can’t truly realize That we are all created equal and life is but a test And unless we help each other, then there is no happiness. Oh yes, there will be moments but our emptiness will grow, And no matter what it is we buy, our unhappiness will show. So remember we are everything to those who need our help, Their happiness will give us more, of this I have no doubt. So keep in mind, we get more back than we ever give away It will come from different people, in what they do and say. So let’s start a new beginning, with the things we know are true, We are only going this way once, now we know what we must do.
Written by Ken Ellis 2005 - In honour of Mayor Hazel McCallion - City of Mississauga, for her work with AIDS in Africa.
“The Fragrance Always Remains in the Hand that Gives the Rose.” - Ghandi