For decades, Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont has been a centre of excellence in hematology, including the diagnosis and treatment of acute leukemia and the transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells. In 2008, Dr. Jean Roy got the idea to create a research unit on multiple myeloma at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont. He quickly recruited Dr. Richard LeBlanc, who, in addition to his training in hematology and medical oncology, has additional training in multiple myeloma. Dr. LeBlanc’s initial mandate was to develop this area of expertise in relation to patient care, research and the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and education. Before long, an outpatient clinic exclusively dedicated to myeloma patients and patients with related diseases has been created, along with a clinical research unit. This clinic has allowed for faster development of expertise and recruitment for clinical studies. Little by little, the development and investment of effort and energy have continued, and health professionals have joint this team, whose ultimate goal is the improvement of patient care.
To further develop this expertise in multiple myeloma, two essential tools had to be created: a biological tool, as well as a financial tool. A multiple myeloma cell bank was created in March 2011 in order to conserve and have access to multiple myeloma cells whenever appropriate. The bank currently contains about a hundred specimens that are genetically well characterized and linked to patients’ clinical information. This bank facilitates collaboration and interaction with basic researchers, in order to stimulate research and scholarly interest in multiple myeloma. The various projects tied to the development of this expertise are associated with costs. The Chair was created in order to bear these costs. In September 2012, the creation of the Chair was announced at the Université de Montréal, thanking the partners who made the Chair possible (Myeloma Canada, Celgene, the HMR Foundation and Janssen Inc.). As of late 2014, it has served as financial leverage to allow for research, development and innovation in the field of multiple myeloma.
Now, the story continues . . . and the conclusion will be the cure!