Continuing the fight against brain cancer

An evening filled with personal stories from those whose lives have been affected by brain cancer will once again contribute to the fight against the disease.
Published: 31 August 2016

Fundraiser to support research to help defeat cancer suffered by Tragically Hip frontman


With the farewell concert of legendary Canadian band The Tragically Hip now past, The Neuro is asking the public to not forget the toll brain cancers take on Canadians, and the need to find new therapies.

The Brain Cancer Program of the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro) is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the country. Led by Kevin Petrecca, Chief of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Neuro, the program is focused on several promising areas of brain cancer research, including cancer stem cells and their role in the origin of brain cancer, and relapses following treatment.

Stem cells divide and develop into every cell in the body, including blood, tissue, and bone. Occasionally, these stem cells develop into cancer stem cells, and finding the mechanism or mechanisms behind this transformation into cancer stem cells is key to treating brain cancers.

Surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy are effective treatments for brain cancers, but they are unable to eliminate cancer stem cells, which over time will repopulate the cancer leading to relapses. By understanding the process of creation and growth of cancer stem cells, researchers can develop better treatments for the disease.

“Over the last 10-15 years, tremendous progress has been made toward our understanding of brain cancers, but we have a long way to go,” says Petrecca. “The study of cancer stem cells holds great promise for future brain cancer breakthroughs, and the Neuro is well positioned to lead the way in this area.”

Brain cancer research is resource intensive. To support further progress, The Neuro is holding its second annual A Brilliant Night gala on October 19, 2016. The inaugural event in 2015 raised $690,000 for brain cancer research.

“A Brilliant Night is about a community coming together to help fund research and provide support for those who have lost family and friends from this deadly disease,” says Madeleine Paquin, event chair of the A Brilliant Night honorary committee. Paquin lost her husband to brain cancer. “If we can help The Neuro to fund research and find treatments for patients with brain tumours, and lengthen their lives, we will have contributed to make a difference for those afflicted with the disease.”

According to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, every day, 27 Canadians are diagnosed with a brain tumour. It is estimated that 55,000 Canadians are surviving with a brain tumour. There are over 120 different types of brain tumours, making effective treatment very complicated. The most common type of primary malignant brain tumour is glioblastoma multiforme. It is nearly always fatal.

Thank you to the main sponsors of A Brilliant Night: SNC Lavalin, Banque de Montreal, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, Cadillac Fairview, CAL Construction, Giant Tiger, Logistec, Pomerleau, Provencher Roy Associes Architectes, Tidan - Mount Stephen

With special thanks to: Lembas Works, Total Entertainment, Transcontinental, Oxford


The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital

The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro – is a world-leading destination for brain research and advanced patient care. Since its founding in 1934 by renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Wilder Penfield, The Neuro has grown to be the largest specialized neuroscience research and clinical center in Canada, and one of the largest in the world. The seamless integration of research, patient care, and training of the world’s top minds make The Neuro uniquely positioned to have a significant impact on the understanding and treatment of nervous system disorders. The Montreal Neurological Institute is a McGill University research and teaching institute.

The Neuro logo McGill logoMcGill University Health Centre logoKillam Laureates


The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.



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