The Garron Family Cancer Centre
In January 2008, SickKids launched the Comprehensive Cancer Centre. The Centre was designed to enhance and integrate all aspects of clinical, research and educational activities in the discipline of oncology at SickKids.
Two years later, in 2010, the Garron Family donated an unprecedented $30 million to SickKids to revolutionize the care and treatment of children’s cancer in Canada and around the world.
The donation transformed the Comprehensive Cancer Centre into the Garron Family Cancer Centre (GFCC), the largest paediatric oncology centre in Canada, and created five Endowed Chairs in Childhood Cancer Research. A generous new gift of $10 million over 10 years from the Garron family, beginning in 2021, will support the Garron Family Chairs in Childhoood Cancer Research and other high priority needs of the centre.
Translation of new knowledge at the GFCC continues to transform clinical practice and improve clinical outcomes and quality of life for children and their families affected by cancer. Our vision is better outcomes for children with cancer though collaboration, innovation, and discovery.
Meet the Garron Family
Myron and Berna Garron’s son Michael was treated for cancer at SickKids for many years. In 1975, Michael passed away at age 13 from synovial sarcoma, a rare type of soft tissue cancer. Their unprecedented gift is an acknowledgement of the dedication and level of care Michael received and a commitment to help create more positive outcomes for childhood cancer patients and their families.
The Garron Family Cancer Centre (GFCC) is an innovative and collaborative virtual centre that brings together scientists, clinicians, and educators across multiple disciplines to advance the diagnosis, treatment and outcomes of children, adolescents and young adults with cancer. GFCC faculty is far-reaching and its collaborators can be found throughout numerous divisions, departments and programs within the Hospital, Research Institute and the broader community.
- Ulana Bochnewicz
- Kathryn Breckbill
- Donna Berry
- Devon Williams (Interim)
Milestones and Achievements
These milestones are just a handful of projects from the GFCC that are making an impact in cancer research and treatment.
In 2016, SickKids established the world-leading SickKids Cancer Sequencing (KiCS) Program, which was designed to analyze the genetic make-up of a child’s cancer to determine a patient’s unique genetic fingerprint, identify the cause of the tumor, gain information about prognosis, and implement personalized treatments. Together with PROFYLE, a trailblazing pan-Canadian program being conducted in partnership with the Terry Fox Research Institute, multiple childhood cancer foundcations, and all 16 paediatric cancer programs across Canada, KiCS matches nationally-collected sequencing data with potentially life-saving drugs.
CAR T-cell therapy
CAR T-cell therapy, a treatment in which a patient’s T cells (a type of immune cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will bind to the cancer cells and kill them, was first approved for use by Health Canada was in 2018. CAR T-cell therapy is now available for patients at SickKids with recurrent or refractory childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). SickKids is one of only 2 Canadian centres to offer CAR T-cell therapy for relapsed ALL. To date, over 419 cancer patients from SickKids, other centres in Ontario and Canada and internationally, have been enrolled in KiCS, with clinically relevant mutations found in almost 53% of cases.
New Agent and Innovative Therapy (NAIT) program
The New Agent and Innovative Therapy program (NAIT) at SickKids is supported in part by the GFCC and is focused on providing access to new drugs and other treatments for childhood cancer patients. For more information about current clinical trials and eligibility, contact us today.
To deliver this targeted radiation safely to children, and to keep families and hospital staff safe, a specialized room, equipment and healthcare team with special training are needed. SickKids' MIBG room includes state-of-the-art equipment and specialized Neuroblastoma and MIBG Therapy Programs.
The GFCC Strategic Plan: Integrating Research - Innovating Care 2020-2025
The 2020-2025 Strategic Plan outlines the foundational essentials and new strategic priorities that will enable Integrating Research – Innovating Care. This plan was developed with broad engagement of both internal and external stakeholders and will guide the focus and investment of the Centre over the next five years.