Leukemia, particularly acute myeloid leukemia (AML), is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. Less than one in five adult patients survives 10 years after diagnosis.
With treatment options that have remained largely unchanged for over three decades, those that do survive the disease face long-term side effects from toxic therapies, which may diminish their lifespan and quality of life. Because of our donors, we are breaking this disease down.
Our Progress to Date
Fuelled by a revolution in next generation sequencing, remarkable advances in stem cell biology and methods for disease modelling, our understanding of how leukemia develops has expanded tremendously over the past decade.
The recent recruitment of Drs. Florian Kuchenbauer and Arefeh Rouhi to BC Cancer in 2019 has created a unique synergy in blood cancer research – here, Dr. Rouhi’s expertise as a highly skilled biologist is combined with Dr. Kuchenbauer’s real-time clinical knowledge of the experiences of people facing blood cancers.
Together, they are tackling the biological profile of multiple myeloma and leukemia with the goal of uncovering innovative treatment strategies to improve the standard of care.
Treatment Solutions Through Research
Right now, BC Cancer has a unique opportunity to revolutionize leukemia treatment in British Columbia and champion research into new therapies with two critical projects.
Project I: Uncovering new, more effective treatments for Leukemia
Led by Dr. Florian Kuchenbauer’s expertise, BC Cancer aims to act quickly on discoveries emerging from BC Cancer’s Terry Fox Laboratory and apply them directly to patients in the Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant (L/BMT) Program of B.C.
Project II: CAR-T Immunotherapy Clinical Trials for Leukemia
Chimeric Antigen Receptor T (CAR-T) cells are a powerful new tool for treating leukemia. BC Cancer is the lead institution for a new national CAR-T development program that will develop the infrastructure, tools and materials to launch CAR-T cell clinical trials this year, with the end goal of making CAR-T therapy available as standard of care for leukemia patients in B.C.