Investing in the medicine of tomorrow to act faster than the disease

Investing in the medicine of tomorrow to act faster than the disease
Investing in the medicine of tomorrow to act faster than the disease

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With its major fundraising campaign launched last November, the CHUM Foundation and its donors want to give the hospital’s doctors, researchers and caregivers a head start.

In order to go further in terms of care and above all to get there faster, philanthropy plays an essential role for a health establishment like the CHUM, where more than 18,000 dedicated professionals work.

“Funding from the public network pays operating costs and team salaries. But that doesn’t finance innovation and research,” explains Pascale Bouchard, president and general director of the CHUM Foundation. However, teaching and research, even if they are secondary missions, are essential to the quality of care. For example, improving the latter will only be accessible if doctors and nurses remain at the forefront of the latest knowledge, and if there is no research, it will never be possible to discover new ways of treating patients.

Accelerator and lever in the face of illness

The donations collected by the CHUM Foundation therefore act as an accelerator and propel innovation at high speed in order to generate the best practices of tomorrow. They support research, but also the implementation of new ways of doing things or the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment that has the potential to improve care. “Philanthropy allows in particular the implementation of pilot projects and initiatives which make it possible to validate new practices. This learning can then be shared more widely, to the greatest benefit of patients,” observes Ms. Bouchard.

Donation money is also a powerful lever: “There is data indicating that $1 in philanthropy invested in research can raise four to ten times more,” says Pascale Bouchard. Philanthropy is used, for example, to finance a research project in its infancy, which can then be supported by other major granting organizations.

“A dollar of philanthropy invested in research can raise four to ten times more”

When classical medicine reaches its limits

Although, generally, patients with the same clinical condition are treated with the same medications, following the same lines of treatment, the fact remains that each patient is different. Some do not respond to standard treatments. This is why the CHUM and its Foundation work hand in hand to push the current limits of medicine.

Precision medicine therefore wants to take into account the differences between individuals, and to achieve this, bold projects must be carried out. These, whose impacts will be transformative for patients, require major investments since they promise to establish the foundations of tomorrow’s medicine, right now.

Projects with revolutionary potential

The potential of tomorrow’s medicine is immense and the CHUM, a leader in care, has the infrastructure and know-how to revolutionize the way things are done, but “many promising projects are just waiting for the boost donors to the CHUM Foundation to see the light of day or be able to continue,” underlines Ms. Bouchard.

Among these projects that the Foundation wishes to finance through its major fundraising campaign, include that led by Dr. Simon Turcotte, who seeks to save lives by developing immunotherapy solutions for people suffering from solid cancers of advanced stages. Its clinical study program uses TIL therapy. This consists of obtaining from a patient immune cells called T lymphocytes, which are multiplied in very large numbers, to then transfuse them as a treatment to this person. This triggers an immune response that can target and eliminate cancer cells in the patient’s body. For these patients, such advances could make all the difference.

Artificial intelligence will be a game-changer and will also play an important role in the medicine of tomorrow, by making it possible to prevent and better predict the evolution of diseases likely to occur and thus avoiding certain treatments for patients. For example, to better understand neurological diseases and offer more personalized treatments, the CHUM SERVO project, unique in Canada, will use multimodal data to more precisely and quickly diagnose neurological diseases, identify the treatments best suited to each individual, detect, monitor, or even predict the occurrence of certain symptoms or complications in order to be able to intervene. “Concretely, connected objects could make it possible, for example, to warn a caregiver that a patient is having an epileptic seizure and perhaps even in the near future to predict when it is at high probability to have a crisis, just as a meteorologist can predict the weather,” illustrates Ms. Bouchard. The SERVO project’s connected object platform thus allows monitoring outside the walls of the CHUM.

Repercussions on all Quebecers

The CHUM is a hospital center that takes care of complex cases, the care of which cannot be provided elsewhere in Quebec. Patients who go there often come there as a last resort. It is also one of the largest research communities in Canada, with more than 2,300 people directly involved in research whose work has international repercussions. As a university hub, the CHUM is also an important teaching center for the province. “As the CHUM is ardently committed to sharing these advances with the entire health network, giving to the CHUM Foundation means having an impact throughout the province,” underlines Ms. Bouchard.

To review standards of care and make precision medicine accessible to all, there is still much to do, but the Foundation and its donors fully intend to be there to support the CHUM and enable it to realize its vision.

To discover other promising projects funded by the CHUM Foundation and its donors, go to actplusvite.ca/la-campagne

This content was produced by the Special Publications team at Duty, relating to marketing. The writing of the Duty did not take part.

To find out more about The CHUM Foundation

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