An Extraordinary Gift Forges an International Partnership
Increasing access to clinical trials worldwide
Clinical trials are the critical step in translating scientific discoveries into lifesaving treatments, yet fewer than 5% of people with cancer around the world are enrolled in one. Trials are often centralized in major cities, putting them out of reach for people in remote and underserved areas, and a lack of international collaboration is a well-recognized barrier to ensuring diverse enrollment. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) is proud to begin tackling both issues thanks to a remarkable $20 million gift made by Australian philanthropists Gregory John Poche and Kay Van Norton Poche.
The family’s generosity has allowed MSK to establish the Gregory John Poche and Kay Van Norton Poche Initiative for Clinical Trials Access in Sydney and the Gregory John Poche and Kay Van Norton Poche Fellowship Fund at MSK.
A first-of-its-kind partnership
The initiative creates a framework for collaboration between MSK and the Royal North Shore Hospital and North Shore Private Hospital, both located in Sydney. This first-of-its-kind partnership for MSK aims to build a global model for using telehealth and data sharing to decentralize the clinical trial process and speed the evaluation of investigational drugs.
“Clinical trials and drug development are central to our efforts to fight cancer and heal people,” says Kay Van Norton Poche. “By building a bridge between MSK and Sydney, we are uniting the expertise needed to deliver the best care and advance incredibly important research.”
The Gregory John Poche and Kay Van Norton Poche Fellowship Fund will be a vital addition to MSK’s educational offerings and will serve as an enduring reminder of Mr. and Mrs. Poche’s commitment to cancer care.
Strengthening global collaboration to accelerate cures
Medical oncologist and drug development scientist Bob Li, MD, PhD, MPH, who is the Physician Ambassador to China and Asia-Pacific at MSK’s International Center, will lead MSK’s participation in this partnership. “Gregory and Kay’s generosity and commitment to improving cancer research and care are truly inspirational,” says Dr. Li. “Cancer is a global problem that requires global solutions, and this gift, which will strengthen collaboration between the United States and Australia on clinical trials, is a critical first step toward creating a model that brings other nations together to accelerate new cures for cancer.”