The London Health Sciences Foundation is introducing a new centre for pancreatic cancer at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).
The Baker Centre for Pancreatic Cancer, which launched Wednesday, became possible following a $1.5-million donation from Rick and Shelley Baker.
In a statement released by LHSC, the centre says the newly introduced Baker Centre will “result in improved access to care, more targeted personalized treatment and new treatment options for pancreatic cancer patients.”
Baker Centre is prioritizing both clinical work and research, as well as “enhancing the utilization of Patient Assistance Funds to support out-of-pocket costs associated with care.”
According to the statement, pancreatic cancer is a fast-growing cancer with low survival rates. Diagnosis and treatment are difficult with frequent delays, and the cancer is often detected at a later stage. This causes treatment to become complex.
Rick Baker, a patient himself, says London needs to “do better for pancreatic cancer patients in our community.”
“I had to travel the world to find alternative treatments and trials to help me fight this disease,” Baker said. “I want to help others here in London to have access to better treatment options and technology.”
The Baker Centre for Pancreatic Cancer is serving patients from the city as well as community members across Southwestern Ontario who require medical assistance.
The next steps for the newly launched health centre include developing a database to track and measure patient outcomes, launching the Translational Pancreatic Research Program, and purchasing an endoscopic ultrasound machine.