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Ontario Increasing Access to Life-Saving Stem Cell Transplants

Archived News Release

Ontario Increasing Access to Life-Saving Stem Cell Transplants

New Hospital Units in Toronto and London to Treat Complex Blood Cancers

Ministry of Health

Ontario is increasing access to stem cell transplants for people who have complex blood cancers, with new state-of-the-art hospital units in Toronto and London.

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto today to make the announcement.

The new and modern inpatient units will address an increasing demand for stem cell transplants, and will be located in two major hospitals:

  • Princess Margaret Cancer Centre will have 15 new inpatient beds and a new outpatient clinic that will support up to eight new stem cell therapy physicians.
  • London Health Sciences Centre will have seven new inpatient beds, a renovated and larger outpatient treatment clinic, and a new outpatient and chemotherapy pharmacy.

When complete, patients in Ontario that need stem cell transplants will benefit from 22 new beds, which will allow for a total of 440 stem cell transplants per year.

Ontario is also releasing the year-end report from the Minister's Stem Cell Consultation Group, which includes progress made in expanding capacity and access for stem cell transplants in Ontario. Today's announcement has been informed by the group's advice on improving stem cell delivery and the patient experience.

Ontario is increasing access to care, reducing wait times and improving the patient experience through its Patients First Action Plan for Health Care and OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare.

Quick Facts

  • A stem cell transplant is a procedure that replaces abnormal cells in patients whose normal cells have been affected by lymphoma, leukemia, myeloma and other cancers and disorders affecting the blood.
  • There are three types of stem cell transplants: those where the cells come from the patient (autologous), those where the cells are taken from a related donor (allogeneic related) and those provided by an unrelated donor (allogenic unrelated).
  • Six hospitals provide stem cell transplant services in Ontario: Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Hamilton Health Sciences Centre, Kingston General Hospital, Health Sciences North, London Health Sciences Centre, and the Ottawa Hospital.
  • The Stem Cell Transplant Consultation Group includes clinical experts, hospital leaders and patient and family representatives. They provide advice to improve capacity and patient access for stem cell transplants.
  • Ontario is providing a one-time funding to both hospitals to speed up the construction of the new units.

Additional Resources


“With this new funding, we are helping hospitals provide life-saving stem cell treatment closer to home. The excellent work and recommendations of the Stem Cell Treatment Consultation Group has enabled the construction of these state-of-the-art facilities in Toronto and London. The government’s investment in the two new units will reduce wait times and improve care for Ontarians who need stem cell transplants.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“This investment by the Ontario government to build additional capacity for stem cell transplants in our province is a critical component of our work to ensure that patients with blood cancer have timely access to high-quality care as close to home as possible.”

Michael Sherar

President and CEO, Cancer Care Ontario

“Today’s announcement by Minister Hoskins is critical to the future of cancer care and our ability to serve the needs of leukemia patients in the future. Coupled with the government’s investment at Sunnybrook Health Sciences, this will allow Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Sunnybrook to serve all leukemia patients who need an allogeneic bone marrow transplant. It will also ensure that the Greater Toronto Area has sufficient capacity to make bone marrow transplants available close to home.”

Peter Pisters

President and CEO, University Health Network

“London Health Sciences Centre welcomes today’s funding announcement that will enable us to fulfill our vision of expanding current services to become a comprehensive stem cell transplant centre. This funding will allow our staff and physicians to better serve the people of London and region by providing specialized stem cell transplant inpatient and day treatment facilities, dedicated hematology outpatient clinics, as well as support services in plasmapheresis, laboratory services and pharmacy services.”

Murray Glendining

President and CEO, London Health Science Centre

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