May 15, 2012
Two research projects focused on a bone marrow failure disease recently received funding from the Aplastic Anemia and Myelodysplasia Association of Canada (AAMAC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
- Dr. Fang Wang at the B.C. Cancer Research Centre and the University of British Columbia (Vancouver) will study the biological mechanisms leading to bone marrow failure and responsible for the development of myelodysplastic syndromes. Results could lead to potentially novel therapeutic approaches.
- Dr. Anca Prica at Sunnybrook's Odette Cancer Centre and the University of Toronto (Toronto) will explore the combination of two existing drugs to improve the health of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes not responding to existing medications.
"The Aplastic Anemia and Myelodysplasia Association of Canada is thrilled to support Canadian research into this serious bone marrow failure disease," said AAMAC President Chris Meyer. "Both projects have a goal of contributing toward improved patient care and treatment, and align extremely well with our own patient-driven organization."
Myelodysplastic syndromes also called myelodysplasia, happens when bone marrow functions fail to work properly. There is an estimated 1,500 new cases of myelodysplastic syndromes in Canada each year and it is more likely to affect people over the age of 60. The disease is characterized by low blood counts and patients often require frequent blood transfusions. Some patients will develop leukemia. Stem cell or bone marrow transplantation is currently the only known cure.
"These two research projects will provide insights into possible therapies for people afflicted with this disease. Results have the potential to impact the care of a large proportion of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes," added Dr. Morag Park, Scientific Director of the Cancer Research Institute at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
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