Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is one of the Top 5 Cancer Research Centres in the World
This statement is based on four key factors
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is a cancer research institution focusing on all three areas of research: BASIC, TRANSLATIONAL and CLINICAL RESEARCH. Producing advances in the scientific understanding of cancer in order to deliver more effective therapies and practices requires enormous investment, ingenuity and expertise. Being referred to (cited) frequently by others in subsequent research papers published in highly credible research journals is an important indicator of research influence and impact.
In comparison to the top cancer research centres from around the world, The Princess Margaret’s research program ranks fourth (from 2013 to 2015) in the percentage of papers published in high-impact oncology journals and fourth in the percentage of highly cited papers (to be ‘highly cited’, a paper must have a citation count that places it in the top 10 percent of papers published in the same field and year).
% Published in High-Impact Oncology Journals *
% Highly Cited *
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (27.6%)
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (20.5%)
- NKI Amsterdam (17.5%)
- Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (16.5%)
- Deutsches Krebforschungszentrum (15.3%)
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (45%)
- Royal Marsden (39.6%)
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (39.3%)
- Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (37.2%)
- NKI Amsterdam (35.6%)
* Princess Margaret benchmarked against:
- Dana-Farber, Boston
- Memorial Sloan Kettering, New York City
- NKI Amsterdam, Amsterdam
- Royal Marsden Hospital, London
- German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), Heidelberg
- Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif
- University of Washington, Seattle
- Mayo Clinic, Rochester
- MD Anderson, Houston
- Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm
- Johns Hopkins, Baltimore
- Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona
World-Leading Clinical Trials Program
Our Phase I clinical trials program is the largest in Canada and one of the top-rated programs of its kind worldwide. It is the only Phase I program in Canada to receive a grant from the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI).
We have leveraged our clinical trials expertise to form and lead The Princess Margaret Phase II Consortium, which is a network of 13 cancer centres across Canada and the U.S. This is the only site outside of the U.S. to secure a contract with the U.S. NCI.
Recognized Global Centre of Excellence
We are proud that Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is the only Canadian cancer institution among six global cancer centres selected by GlaxoSmithKline as a preferred centre of excellence to expedite translation of scientific knowledge into laboratory research and clinical trials.
Leaders in Participation for Clinical Trials
Our clinical trials program is the largest in Canada and one of the largest in the world, with over 600 active trials, and 1 in 5 new patients enrolled onto a clinical trial.
Our cancer centre is the only non-U.S. site chosen to be part of the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network funded by the U.S. NCI.
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is the largest cancer research and clinical program in Canada. We treat over 18,000 new patients a year and over 1,400 patients visit the cancer centre daily. More than 3,000 employees are involved in our patient care and research programs. In addition:
- We are the only research and comprehensive treatment centre devoted exclusively to cancer in Canada.
- Our research enterprise is comprised of over 1,200 research staff, including: 64 senior scientists, 315 clinical researchers and scientists, as well as 450 research trainees.
- We run the world's largest single-site radiation medicine program.
- We run Canada's largest clinical trial program where 1 in 5 new patients is enrolled in a study. (20% of patients versus 4% in the U.S.)
- We have the largest surgical oncology team in Canada and one of the largest in the world.
- Our cancer surgeons, along with a multi-disciplinary team of specialists, led the development of the Guided Therapeutics Operating Room (GTx OR), the largest and most technologically advanced research operating room in Canada.
- We have one of the largest stem cell transplant units in Canada.
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre’s ability to discover and deliver new and better treatments
through evidenced-based research is supported not only by our scale, but also our breadth:
- We care for many patients in Canada with the most complex and challenging cancers. We have the expertise to treat the 200+ types of cancer, including the rarest forms of the disease such as eye cancer. We provide consultations to other cancer clinicians across the country and beyond.
- Because we support the full spectrum of cancer research, we are uniquely equipped with the world-class expertise to effectively test combinations of treatment therapies.
- We have 16 disease site groups with 400 clinics per week and over 230,000 clinic visits annually.
- We are leading the way with the most comprehensive Immunotherapy Program in Canada. In 2013, we opened Canada’s first clinical trial using a promising kind of Immune Therapy called “Adoptive T-cell Therapy”.
- We were the first cancer centre in Canada to integrate the results of genome sequencing of tumor tissue into the patient record for physicians to consider in diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
- We have launched several award-winning patient education and survivorship programs, including: Healing Beyond the Body, Survivorship Kitchens, Community Connections, exercise programs and symptom management
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.
For a more extensive list, please visit: Medical Scientific Firsts
What does it mean to be a Major Comprehensive Cancer Centre?
As a major comprehensive cancer centre, The Princess Margaret actively adheres to the following:
- Invests in the full range of basic, translational, and clinical cancer research.
- Collaborates with other cancer centres in Canada and around the world to advance cancer care outcomes.
- Assumes leadership in national and global health organizations and major professional associations.
- Delivers state-of-the-art care and services to patients and families.
- Attracts, retains and educates many top cancer healthcare professionals.
- Works to develop more effective approaches to cancer diagnosis and therapy.
- Educates the Canadian public about cancer research, cancer care and treatment.
'Best Hospitals' Criteria
The Princess Margaret ranks as one of the top 5 cancer research centres when measured against the same criteria used for the top 5 cancer centres in the 2015-16 U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” Study. A hospital (cancer centre) is eligible if it meets the following criteria:
- Membership in the Council of Teaching Hospitals: The Princess Margaret is a member of the Ontario equivalent, the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO).
- Medical school affiliation: The Princess Margaret is affiliated with the University of Toronto.
- At least 200 hospital beds set up and staffed: The Princess Margaret includes 202 inpatient beds.
- At least four of eight important key technologies available: The Princess Margaret provides access to 8 of 8 key technologies listed under the Cancer specialty.
The 2015-16 U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” Study lists certain key technologies in its methodology that are expected from “best hospitals”. As a top 5 cancer research centre, The Princess Margaret offers all of the 8 technologies that are listed as relevant to the Cancer specialty:
- Full-field digital mammography
- Image-guided radiation therapy
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy
- PET/CT scanner
- Robotic surgery
- Shape-beam radiation
- Stereotactic radiosurgery
- Transplant services
Major cancer centres work to provide as many patients as possible with the most sophisticated care. The following elements were reviewed from the annual American Hospital Association (AHA) survey, and only leading comprehensive cancer centres included all of the following, in addition to The Princess Margaret:
- Genetic testing/counseling
- Patient-controlled analgesia
- Pain-management program
- Wound-management services
- Infection isolation room
- Palliative care
The Princess Margaret is proud to be a world leader in:
- cancer stem cell research
- image-guided therapeutics
- lung cancer research and treatment
- patient survivorship program development
- radiation medicine
We also have strong programs in immunotherapy, palliative care and cell signal transduction.