Montreal hospital leading the charge on breakthrough cancer treatment
A Montreal Hospital is spearheading a revolutionary new cancer treatment.
The Quebec government on Monday announced a $4 million investment to develop and improve cell therapy in the province.
Cell therapy is the future of cancer treatment, according to Dr. Denis Claude Roy, research director at the Maisonneuve-Rosemount Hospital -- one of only two centres in the province to offer the therapy.
"We have been able to treat patients now and eight have already been treated on a commercial basis," the doctor said. "So this is an accepted new treatment by health Canada, by the provincial authorities and it's now transforming the lives of patients."
The province's investment will be used to establish an institute to help advance the science behind cell therapy; the treatment involves modifying a patient's cells to fight cancer.
"This will accelerate the development process and have an economic impact because we will be able to promote Quebec and Canadian knowledge and bring that to patients and help the new biotechnology and the new industry come forward," said Danielle McCann, provincial health minister.
But the treatment is still in its early stages. Cell therapies only work on some cancers, and not everyone can use them.
Quebec is investing $35 million a year to make the treatments available, but Pierre Fitzgibbon, the province's economy minister, said more funding is coming in the future.
With files from Denise Roberts