The collaborative efforts of UWindsor researchers, local hospitals and community supporters reached another milestone Monday as the Windsor Cancer Research Group (WCRG) launched PASSPORTS: Bridging Research and Hope at Windsor Regional Hospital’s Cancer Centre.
UWindsor biology professor and WCRG Scientific Director Lisa Porter and Dr. Caroline Hamm, WCRG Clinical Director and Medical Oncologist for Windsor Regional Hospital’s Cancer Program, were joined by Kevin Laforet, CEO of Caesars Windsor, who presented a $25,000 cheque as seed money for the program.
The Windsor Cancer Research Group is an assembly of local researchers and clinicians working together to create working teams in order to strengthen local cancer research programs and bridge collaborations with neighbouring cancer centres. Specific areas of research include breast, prostate, blood and brain cancer research, as well as innovative clinical trials, psycho-social cancer research and international partnerships.
PASSPORTS will establish a global cancer research office to foster cross-border collaboration and lay the foundation for international clinical trial access for Windsor-Essex cancer patients.
“We have many brilliant minds here and we have great potential to move this to the next level,” Dr. Porter told the crowd of patients and supporters who had gathered in the Cancer Centre lobby for the announcement. “We really have been able to put clinicians and researchers together through this initiative.”
Laforet said Caesars participates in cancer awareness and fundraising events every October and has raised approximately $1 million over the years for the cause. He said the $25,000 donation to the PASSPORTS program is part of $100,000 in total donations that will be coming this year from the casino.
“We really believe this is the passport to our future,” said UWindsor assistant biology professor and cancer researcher Dora Cavallo-Medved who took the podium to thank the crowd for their attendance and continued support.