Thanks to the generosity of Alberta Cancer Foundation donors, substantial advancements in blood cancer research and enhanced-care programs are expanding treatment options and easing the journey for patients across the province. Here are some examples:
Introducing Palliative Care Earlier
Until recently, Albertans undergoing bone marrow or blood stem cell transplants have had limited access to palliative care. A Calgary research group is examining the integration of early supportive palliative care in conjunction with administering life-prolonging treatments for patients with blood cancer. The study’s goal is to lessen the burden placed on both patients and caregivers while increasing survival rates and improving outcomes.
Bone Marrow Transplant Patient Financial Assistance Program
Albertans requiring bone marrow transplants often need to travel for treatment. The Bone Marrow Transplant Patient Financial Assistance Program offers financial relief for patients by covering costs such as travel and accommodation.
National Database for Multiple Myeloma
A national database led by a team in Edmonton is furthering the study and treatment of multiple myeloma. Thanks to data collected from over 4,500 patients, researchers can use this information to guide treatment plans that will improve outcomes and quality of life.
Chemotherapy at Home
In Alberta, chemotherapy is typically delivered in a cancer centre. A Calgary-based study is looking at the feasibility of self-administered chemotherapy for myeloma patients. This will significantly reduce time spent at the hospital and allow Albertans to safely receive treatment at home.
According to Alberta Health Services, the five-year relative survival rate for leukemia patients in Alberta has increased from 53% for those diagnosed in 1992 to 1994 to 71% for those diagnosed between 2010 and 2012.