Last week, with the support of the HMR Foundation, the Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont (HMR) has taken one more step forward in the battle against cancer. The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Canada’s Minister of Science, Mr. Gaétan Barrette, Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and numerous other partners gathered at the HMR to mark the launch of the Centre for Commercialization of Cancer Immunotherapy (C3i).
Operating out of the HMR, this new centre will help refine innovative, non-toxic cancer treatments through immunotherapy. These revolutionary treatments harness the power of the immune system without using chemotherapy agents. They represent the future of medicine and they are being developed right here at the HMR!
The new Centre for Commercialization of Cancer Immunotherapy (C3i) will help propel Canada to the rank of world leader in the field of cancer immunotherapy. The new centre will operate out of the HMR Centre of Excellence for Cellular Therapy (CECT) that was made possible thanks to the nearly 9 million dollars in financial support provided by the HMR Foundation and its generous donors since 2011. Today, the CECT offers the greatest expertise in cellular therapy Canada-wide and it is one of the largest stem cell transplantation centres in the country.
Matthew Schreindorfer and Mai Duong, two patients who have benefited from immunotherapy treatments that are only offered at the HMR, were on site to share their gratitude and to celebrate the realization of this project that is such a beacon of hope for cancer sufferers and their loved ones.
In addition to the 15 million dollars granted by the Federal Government and the 2.5 million dollars provided by the provincial government, contributions totalling 35 million dollars from over 40 industrial partners or universities have led to the realization of this large-scale project.
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The Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont is developing a pilot project full of hope for female cancer patients suffering from cognitive impairment associated with their treatment (chemobrain). Vital and ground-breaking in Quebec, this project has been made possible thanks to major financial support from the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation, which is donating $350,000 as well as from the HMR Foundation and its donors, who are contributing $20,000.
The goal of this pilot project is to screen for, assess and address the cognitive issues associated with Oncology treatments that are often accompanied by related issues such as stress, loss of self-esteem, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and a perceived reduction in work ability. Of course, this constellation of cognitive, behavioural, and affective symptoms has repercussions on the lives of these women, as it affects their ability to function and their relationships, both at work and at home.
Using a multifaceted intervention, the HMR’s interdisciplinary team hopes to make the experience easier for the person affected and her loved ones when dealing with this disease and its consequences. This initiative will undoubtedly contribute to ongoing improvement in the quality of care and services provided to cancer patients, and can later be shared with other teams working with breast cancer patients throughout Quebec.