The mission of the Myeloma Canada Chair

The mission of the Université de Montréal Myeloma Canada Chair on multiple myeloma at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont is to improve patient care, to innovate through research and to promote the dissemination of knowledge on the various aspects of multiple myeloma. This threefold mission is structured as follows:

1. Patient care

One of the major mandates of the Chair is to improve patient care through:

  • The creation of clinics dedicated to patients with multiple myeloma at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont;
  • A better understanding of multiple myeloma on the part of various stakeholders involved to any degree with multiple myeloma patients (nurses, physical therapists, dieticians, etc.);
  • Frequent multidisciplinary interaction with the orthopedics, radiation oncology, radiology and physical therapy departments . . . improving the care of patients with multiple myeloma;
  • The training of a new generation with an interest in multiple myeloma;
  • A telephone service available to hematologists and medical oncologists in the province, allowing them to get additional information about the recommended care for patients with multiple myeloma and a therapeutic opinion.

2. The research

The improvement in the quality of life and survival of patients with multiple myeloma over the last 15 years is the result of research. Research, in all its aspects, is greatly encouraged by the Chair. The latter is intended as a platform for collaboration among patients, clinical researchers, basic researchers and the pharmaceutical industry to contribute toward advances in the field of multiple myeloma. A cure for multiple myeloma is the ultimate goal of this chair, and this requires research.

Clinical research is an important aspect of the Chair’s research mandate. Clinical research evaluates promising new therapies that are potentially more effective or better tolerated. For patients, it can allow access to innovative treatments that would not otherwise be accessible. It involves different aspects of multiple myeloma, especially the therapeutic aspect:

  • The first-line treatment of patients eligible for autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation;
  • The allogeneic hematopoietic stems cell transplantation;
  • The first-line treatment of patients ineligible for an autologous transplant;
  • The consolidation or maintenance therapy;
  • The treatment of recurrent and/or refractory disease;
  • Supporting treatment.

To find out more about the clinical studies available at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, see the Clinical research protocols section.

A databank on multiple myeloma

A clinical and statistical database on multiple myeloma in Quebec is essential to facilitate epidemiological and clinical research. It must be accessible to both researchers with an interest in multiple myeloma and physicians. This helps to provide a fair idea as to the epidemiology of the disease in Quebec, to determine the true outcome of patients with multiple myeloma in our population, in addition to allowing for a true comparison of patient outcomes in Quebec as compared to the rest of Canada and abroad. This database is necessary for a thorough introspection on the disease in our environment, with our resources and our access to medicines. No such database on multiple myeloma exists in Quebec, and the Chair plans to establish one in the coming years.

The synergy of research efforts

Collaborations will be established with researchers from the HMR Research Centre, the Centre of Excellence for Cellular Therapy (CETC) of the Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, and the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) of the Université de Montréal in order encourage basic research on multiple myeloma and to stimulate the interest of young researchers in this disease. To facilitate basic research, a myeloma cell bank was created in March 2011. Patients with multiple myeloma are invited to participate in this bank in order to give Quebec researchers the opportunity to study the myeloma cells and possibly contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge in this area. Samples of 8 ml of bone marrow, 10 ml of blood, as well as a buccal swab, are required. These patients’ clinical information is gathered for purposes of correlation.

3. Dissemination of knowledge through teaching and education

  • For patients and their loved ones

    It is well established that patients who understand their disease and their treatment are more actively involved in their care. This improves the quality of care and decreases the risk of error. Educational and informative sessions are regularly given to patients with multiple myeloma and their loved ones by hematologists and medical oncologists of Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, through the Myeloma Canada organization.

  • For medical residents in training

    Medical residents from the hematology program of the Université de Montréal can spend outpatient days at the specialized clinic on multiple myeloma, where they receive intense exposure to the various problems of this pathology. At the same time, they benefit from high-quality education on real clinical situations.

    Master classes in multiple myeloma are given to doctors in training, as well as medical students. This is to improve the quality of the medical management of patients with multiple myeloma and to stimulate interest in this disease among a new generation of caregivers.

  • For doctors and pharmacists in Quebec

    Aware of the past 15 years, the understanding of the biology of disease and multiple myeloma treatments have greatly improved. It is difficult to remain on the cutting edge of knowledge in multiple myeloma. For this reason, the holder of the Chair as well as his colleagues at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont regularly give presentations to hematologists and medical oncologists as well as other healthcare professionals from many regions of Quebec on topics of their choice in relation to multiple myeloma. Upon request, presentations can be given in the regions of Montreal, Montérégie, Laurentides, Lanaudière, Laval, Outaouais, Estrie, Mauricie and Capitale-Nationale.

    The regularly updated guidelines on multiple myeloma are actively involved in continuing medical education and the training of health professionals involved in the management of patients with multiple myeloma.

Why carry out this triple mission at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont?

One of the best sites in Quebec for expertise in multiple myeloma is Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, where clinics dedicated to multiple myeloma have been created and where the clinical research is already firmly established. Teaching and research on multiple myeloma are priorities for the hematology and medical oncology department of Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont. This is where the Université de Montréal hematology training program is based.

Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont has five major advantages for studying and treating multiple myeloma:

  1. It is one of the largest hospitals on a single site, with a capacity to serve over 500,000 residents.
  2. It has a multidisciplinary clinical team on multiple myeloma (doctors, nurses, pharmacists and laboratory staff) working in a specialized clinic established a number of years ago.
  3. It is home to the province’s largest hematopoietic stem cell transplantation department, along with the only hematopoietic stem cell transplantation fellowship program; myeloma is in fact a major indication for transplantation.
  4. The myeloma cell bank, affiliated with the Quebec Leukemia Cell Bank (BCLQ) is also located there, for collecting bone marrow specimens from patients with multiple myeloma.
  5. The HMR Research Centre, the Centre of Excellence for Cellular Therapy (CETC) and the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) are nearby to facilitate collaboration and stimulate research.