Greetings from Maggie Bras

Welcome to our 9th edition of the Helping Hand newsletter.

During my husband Robert’s three and a half year battle with gallbladder and prostate cancer, it was brought to our attention the lack of new drugs available to treat cancer. With the helpful advice and partial funding from the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, we made an endowment to start up a new drug development program headed by Dr. Malcolm Moore. Its name would be The Robert & Maggie Bras and Family New Drug Development Program, recently shortened to the BRAS Drug Development Program. Robert did not live long enough to realize his and my dream and those of the Bras Drug Development Program, but our dream does live on in those who have fought bravely against their cancer and are winning or have won the battle!

Today, I am pleased to bring to you the incredible progress made in the fight to conquer cancer.

We are thrilled to announce that the Bras Drug Development Program has been successful in being awarded a large grant to support clinical and translational research in high grade serous ovarian cancer. This is one of the largest early phase trials set to profile women with ovarian cancer that incorporates robust clinical and biological endpoints.

It is always delightful to meet our newest Fellows from around the globe who choose to study and work at the Bras Drug Development Program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. We will catch up with two young women who were Fellows of the program and who are now employed as full time physicians and researchers at the BRAS DDP.

We will meet Janet, a Phase I clinical trial patient, as she takes us through her cancer journey.

We will take a moment to honour Lee Pettersen, who was an incredible advocate for Princess Margaret and The Bras DDP, and learn about the legacy she left behind.

Dr. Amit Oza, who is one of the principle founders and now Director of the BRAS DDP, is a very busy man. Inside these pages you will find how Phase II clinical trials examining DNA repair, can force cancer cell death, primarily in patients with mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. We will be examining the role of Aspirin in women at a high risk of developing ovarian cancer; and a large phase II study showing how cancer cells talk to one another.

Once again we will meet up with Dr. Lillian Siu, one of the founders of the BRAS DDP and Co-Director of the BRAS DDP, who will speak about the Phase I program, which continues to advance new findings that help set the stage for future clinical trials of anticancer agents in development. And to congratulate Dr. Siu as the BMO Financial Group Chair in Precision Genomics in 2016 for a 10 year term. If that is not enough, we will learn about her Tumour Immunotherapy Program (TIP) at the Princess Margaret. Hopefully Lillian finds time to sleep!

We will talk about Molecular Profiling in Advance Cancers Trial (IMPACT) and Community Molecular Profiling in Advanced Cancers Trial (COMPACT) which is being led by Dr. Phillippe Bedard along with Dr.Lillian Siu.

I would like to take a moment to thank all our donors and supporters through the years who have contributed to the success of the Bras Drug Development Program. Because of your support, my family’s dream has become a reality. Thank you.

Please take your time reading and learning about the progress made to date, and know that the BRAS Drug Development Program and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre are working extremely hard at slaying the beast we call cancer.


Maggie Bras

Maggie Bras
President, BRAS DDP Program

***NEW*** “Helping Hand” Newsletter – 9th edition – Summer 2017

“Helping Hand” Newsletter – Spring 2014

“Helping Hand” Newsletter – Summer 2012

“Helping Hand” Newsletter – January 2010

“Helping Hand” Newsletter – Autumn 2008

“Helping Hand” Newsletter – Summer 2007

“Helping Hand” Newsletter – Spring 2006

“Helping Hand” Newsletter – Spring 2005

“Helping Hand” Newsletter – February 2004