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The Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research

The Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research was established at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in 2016. With an outpouring of support from Canadians across the country, $1.8 million has been raised. The Fund will support the Gord Downie Fellowship in Brain Oncology and construction of the G. Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre, including clinical and research space for neurologists who care for patients with brain cancer.

Helping to advance glioblastoma treatment

With one of North America’s most extensive practices dealing with glioblastoma and other brain cancers, Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre combines leading-edge research, technology, clinical trials, innovative therapies, and advances in precision medicine.

Combining radiation and real-time MRI, Sunnybrook’s new MR-Linac will offer better visual access to tumours during radiation treatment for more advanced monitoring of tumours and normal tissue during those treatments. In addition, further development of focused ultrasound could allow drugs through the blood-brain barrier to attack the glioblastoma tumour.

Sunnybrook researchers are also exploring genetic mutations and biomarkers – signs of biological properties or molecules – associated with glioblastoma. This type of research can provide information about which tissue and tumours will be more sensitive to radiation therapy. This research has also made it possible to break down the majority of glioblastoma cases into four major types, helping to focus drug development and strategies.

The Gord Downie Fellowship in Brain Oncology

Sunnybrook has established The Gord Downie Fellowship in Brain Oncology. This Fellowship is a one-year intensive period of study following completion of a residency program in an area of specialty relevant to brain tumour care and research. With expert mentors at Sunnybrook and our Odette Cancer Centre, the Fellow will gain extensive expertise in brain tumour care and management, and move on to become an expert in a field where more well-trained practitioners are urgently needed. Ultimately, this Fellowship will open the doors to exceptional brain cancer care and treatment for more patients in Canada and around the world.

The G. Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre

Brain specialties once thought siloed and brain disorders once deemed separate need to be brought together in order to push the frontiers of discovery. This is critical now as science is increasingly revealing that disorders such as brain cancer, mental illness, dementia, Parkinson’s and stroke have much in common. Sunnybrook’s G. Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program is one of the foremost brain sciences programs in the country, with specialized and integrated care and research across a broad range of disciplines.

We are poised to build a remarkable physical home to match our remarkable expertise. Within the G. Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre, we will foster an accelerated, creative and cohesive approach to discovery and treatment of brain disorders. By bringing our experts and patients together, we’ll learn more and learn it faster, all in the service of families affected by brain disorders.

FAQS: Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research

» How much has been raised for the Gord Downie Fund?

As at October 17, 2017, $1.8 million has been raised for Sunnybrook’s Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research.

» How have donations from the Gord Downie Fund been used?

The Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research will support two important initiatives:

  • The Gord Downie Fellowship in Brain Oncology
  • Construction of the G. Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre
    • Clinical and research space for neurologists who care for patients with brain cancer
    • Centre for Neuromodualation where clinical applications of focused ultrasound will be developed and advanced

» How can I make a donation to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research?

Donations to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research can be made through Sunnybrook Foundation by phone, mail or online.

Online: donate.sunnybrook.ca/gord 

Memories of Gord can be shared at sunnybrook.ca/foundation/gord-downie  

Phone: 416-480-4483 / 1-866-696-2008

Mail: Sunnybrook Foundation
2075 Bayview Ave, KGW01
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

» What was Gord’s diagnosis?

Gord was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. He passed away on October 17, 2017.

» What is glioblastoma and how is it treated?