Leading the Way in Lymphoma Research

Lymphoma is one of the most prevalent forms of blood cancer.

Thanks to you, researchers across this province are making major advances in lymphoma. Dr. Douglas Stewart, from the University of Calgary, and his research team have made a major contribution to lymphoma care with their clinical study. Dr. Stewart’s research found that survival rates drastically improved for lymphoma patients when autologous (the patient’s own) stem cell transplant strategies were used. For example, primary central nervous system lymphoma—a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that usually presents as a brain tumour—is rare, associated with poor outcomes and lacks widely accepted guidelines. Dr. Stewart’s retrospective study found that the combination of high dose therapy with ASCT improved survival rates–from 45.1 per cent to 64.6 per cent–and the treatment approach is now uniform across the province.

A second retrospective study found similar outcomes for patients with secondary central nervous system lymphoma. Dr. Stewart and his team continue to find other encouraging results for other types of treatment and will be conducting clinical trials to test these findings further.

This ground-breaking step in research has resulted in the establishment of provincial wide treatment protocols that are now the new standard for patient care in Alberta. Your investment in lymphoma research made this possible.

With your help, lymphoma progress doesn’t stop there. Dr. Luc Berthiaume, a researcher in the department of cell biology at the University of Alberta, has been working on a new treatment for lymphoma patients by evaluating a new drug that has been found to be highly selective in killing tumours. Guided by a predictive biomarker to identify patients with susceptible lymphoma cancers, this biomarker can identify molecular lesions in cancer cells that make them vulnerable to the drug. Known as “personalized medicine”, this drug will only be given to patients who will benefit from it, sparing other patients from unnecessary treatments,

Current treatment for lymphoma has severe side effects, is costly, and patients often relapse. It is this urgent medical need and the financial impact that has us working as a team to make better, targeted therapies directed at lymphoma.

Dr. Luc Berthiaume

Dr. Berthiaume’s early testing has proven successful, and is now safe enough to take to the next stage. Early indications suggest low toxicity, so there is hope that this cancer therapy will have minimal side effects for patients.

Our goal is to change the future of cancer treatment in Alberta, and globally. This is a major opportunity to improve cancer treatment outcomes, reduce patient symptoms and improve quality of life.

Dr. Luc Berthiaume

Because of you, Alberta is positioned to continue to make significant impact in the field of Lymphoma. Your investment offers patients access to ground-breaking treatment and care. Thank you for making life better for Albertans facing cancer.

View Our Other Progress Reports To Learn More About Impactful Investments

Spring 2019
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Spring 2016