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More People to Get Access to Life-Saving Stem Cell Transplants

News Release

More People to Get Access to Life-Saving Stem Cell Transplants

New Facility at Sunnybrook Part of Plan to Expand Care for People with Blood Diseases

Office of the Premier

Ontario is investing in a new facility at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre that will offer specialized treatment for people with blood cancers such as leukemia.

Premier Kathleen Wynne was at Sunnybrook in Toronto today to announce the government's support for a new Complex Malignant Haematology (CMH) site. Sunnybrook will become the second hospital in the Greater Toronto Area -- along with Princess Margaret Cancer Care -- to provide a full range of potentially life-saving CMH services, including stem cell transplants.

Ontario is also improving treatment for people with blood diseases by:

  • Renovating facilities at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, the University Health Network's Princess Margaret Hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences and The Ottawa Hospital
  • Expanding CritiCall Ontario, a 24-hour emergency consultation and referral service, to help doctors caring for acute leukemia patients get better access to expert clinicians and services.

Investing to improve care for people with blood cancers and disorders is part of our plan to build a better Ontario by providing patients with faster access to the right health care.

Quick Facts

  • In 2015–16, 859 adults received stem cell transplants. This was up from 744 patients who received stem cell transplants in 2014–15.
  • Approximately 15 patients received stem cell treatments outside the country in 2015–16.
  • Stem cell transplants can save the lives of people suffering from various types of blood diseases. Chemotherapy destroys diseased cells, as well as bone marrow. Stem cells can regenerate bone marrow, which then produces new and healthy blood cells.

Additional Resources

Quotes

Kathleen Wynne

“Stem cell transplants can help lessen the terrible toll that cancer takes on families. We are providing support so hospitals can offer more patients access to a life-saving treatment –– and the chance for a new lease on life.”

Kathleen Wynne

Premier of Ontario

Dr. Eric Hoskins

“Today marks a major milestone for Ontario patients needing stem cell transplants. With this investment, patients will have better access to timely service and state-of-the-art treatment, but most importantly, more patients will be able to receive stem cell transplants right here in Ontario.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“This is a life-saving investment. We are grateful to the Ontario government for the funding to provide care and build a new state-of-the-art facility for patients who are afflicted with this serious illness.”

Dr. Barry McLellan

President and CEO, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

“Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is an important and valued partner in Ontario’s cancer care system. The addition of a new Complex Malignant Haematology site is a critical step in our efforts to ensure that patients receive timely access to transplant services in Ontario.”

Michael Sherar

President and CEO, Cancer Care Ontario; Co-convener, Complex Malignant Hematology — Hematopoietic Cell Therapy Consultation Group

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