Quality of Life

We prioritize based on the potential to lead to progress on our strategic goals of Earlier Detection, Quality of Life, Better Prevention and Improved Treatment.

See the progress we’ve made in the area of improved treatment:

Precision Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics (POET)

Precision medicine takes into account a patient’s genetic makeup as well as the makeup of a specific tumour.

In this genetic approach to cancer care, each specific gene mutation must first be identified and sequenced. Using this information clinicians will be better able to determine the correct, targeted treatment plan for Albertans facing cancer. However, due to a high demand for this type of genetic testing, the current technology being used to sequence genes is unable to meet the need. The Novaseq Illumina NGS Platform will increase capacity in gene sequencing 100-fold. In partnership with the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, this technology will be used by the POET program and will unleash the ability to perform whole human genome sequencing, solid tumour sequencing, single cell sequencing, and deep sequencing of microbiome samples. Access to this level of information will take cancer research to the next level in Alberta. Its close proximity to the cancer centres means that the time between the patient sample being taken and the sequencing completed can be significantly shortened.

This state-of-the-art piece of technology will use gene sequencing to allow health-care teams the opportunity to provide patients with tailored therapies, greatly improving their chance of responding positively to treatment while improving their quality of life. Imagine if they had the right medicine specifically for your loved one’s genetic makeup at the right time that they need it.

“Thank you for enabling us to discover new ways to detect, diagnose, treat and reduce cancer risk.”

Dr. Gwyn Bebb, oncologist and POET lead

Reducing Lymphoma Relapse by 34%

Researchers around the world accrued just over 1200 patients to the trial-100 patients came from the Cross Cancer Institute and the Tom Baker Cancer Centre-which allowed the centres to offer state-of-the-art therapy before its available to the general public.

Lymphoma patients in Alberta played a crucial role in improving treatment around the world, answering questions that change the way we treat this disease and getting access to new therapies first, thanks to a groundbreaking clinical trial.

“We were able to offer patients here in Alberta a treatment that wasn’t yet standard of care and were able to learn new things about which treatment was the better one for this particular type of lymphoma,” says Dr. Randeep Sangha, an investigator on the GALLIUM trial and oncologist at the Cross Cancer Institute.

For us to show that this new combination of treatment prolongs progression-free survival bodes well for patients. We want to see if this difference improves even more with longer follow-up.

- Dr. Randeep Sangha

Charting the Best Course for Multiple Myeloma

Because of your investment, this pilot program was leveraged to position Alberta as a lead province in the MCRN Canadian Multiple Myeloma Database initiative that has resonated with Albertans facing multiple myeloma.

Almost 2,900 new cases of multiple myeloma are diagnosed in Canada every year.

A common form of blood cancer generated in the bone marrow, multiple myeloma crowds out healthy ‘plasma cells’ that are used to fight infections. Treatment may involve a stem-cell transplant, and lifelong therapy can have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life.

On the international spectrum - Canada is punching well above its weight in contributing to multiple myeloma research. The technology isn't fancy - but it will have a lasting impact for Albertans.

- Dr. Christopher Venner

Together we can continue to provide Albertans with the best possible treatment and care available.