Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

August 10, 2015 16:11 ET

Tour de Bleu Participants Pedal to Improve Detection and Treatment of Prostate Cancer

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 10, 2015) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Prostate cancer patients at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre will have access to a 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine that will detect smaller tumours sooner, thanks to approximately 50 Tour de Bleu cyclists who biked from Muskoka to Sunnybrook yesterday.

The Tour de Bleu - a weekend-long cycling and social event that concludes with a ride from cottage country to Toronto - raised money toward Sunnybrook's purchase of a 3T MRI.

"By pinpointing hard-to-detect prostate tumours and guiding biopsies with extreme precision, this equipment will have a tremendous impact on patients," says Peter Gilgan, the founder and CEO of Mattamy Homes, who created the Tour de Bleu in 2005 to combine his love of cycling and his commitment to supporting community initiatives.

"We wanted to ensure Sunnybrook could acquire the most advanced 3T MRI, so we decided to ride for the hospital again this year," Mr. Gilgan adds.

Over the last two years, the Tour de Bleu, the Peter Gilgan Foundation and Mattamy Homes have donated $4.5 million toward Sunnybrook's purchase of the 3T MRI.

"This investment will allow our prostate cancer team, which is renowned for its collaborative care and cutting-edge research, to better detect and treat a cancer that will affect one in eight Canadian men," says Dr. Calvin Law, chief of Sunnybrook's Odette Cancer Program, which is one of North America's largest and most innovative cancer programs.

The 3T MRI will be crucial to the diagnostic, treatment and research activities of Sunnybrook's prostate centre. This new centre, which will be constructed with the financial support of donors, is expected to become Canada's foremost centre for the treatment of prostate cancer and other urological conditions.

The prostate centre's multidisciplinary team will invent the future of prostate cancer care by leading groundbreaking research, by improving and creating new diagnostic methods, and by delivering precise, image-guided treatments that maximize effectiveness while minimizing side-effects. Full details on the centre will be released in the coming months when Sunnybrook formally launches its fundraising drive.

Dr. Jon Dellandrea, president and CEO of Sunnybrook Foundation, emphasizes the critical role donors play in supporting the hospital's life-saving care.

"It is thanks to the generosity of Tour de Bleu riders, the Peter Gilgan Foundation and Mattamy Homes that Sunnybrook will be able to acquire this state-of-the-art imaging technology and provide patients with the answers they so desperately seek," Dr. Dellandrea says.

Sunnybrook is an international leader in developing MRI techniques for the detection of prostate cancer. By incorporating MRI into prostate biopsies, our experts are able to take as few as two tissue samples - compared to the 12 taken during conventional biopsies - to diagnose potential tumours. This is both more comfortable for patients and decreases the risk of infection. Our scientists aim to reduce the use of biopsies altogether by developing MRI to the point that it, alone, can determine whether treatment is needed.

Now in its 11th year, the Tour de Bleu has raised more than $9 million for a wide range of health-care institutions in the Greater Toronto Area, as well as for the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton.

About Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is inventing the future of health care for the 1.2 million patients the hospital cares for each year through the dedication of its more than 13,000 staff, students and volunteers. An internationally recognized leader in research and education and a full affiliation with the University of Toronto distinguishes Sunnybrook as one of Canada's premier academic health sciences centres. Sunnybrook specializes in caring for high-risk pregnancies, critically-ill newborns and adults, offering specialized rehabilitation and treating and preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological and psychiatric disorders, orthopaedic and arthritic conditions and traumatic injuries. The Hospital also has a unique and national leading program for the care of Canada's war veterans. For more information about how Sunnybrook is inventing the future of health care please visit us online at

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