Cancer Care and WM Clinical Trials in Halifax

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Many Atlantic Canadian WM patients are treated at the Hematology Clinic of the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. CancerCare NS and the NS Health Authority provide a comprehensive 64-page manual entitled Cancer Care – A Guide for Patients, Families and Caregivers.

As WM is an orphan disease, most current therapies are hand-me-downs from other cancers such as leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Clinical trials to evaluate new therapies for WM are rare, and fewer than 5% of cancer patients are willing or able to participate in a clinical trial. If we are to accelerate progress towards a cure, more of us need to step forward and participate in clinical trials.

There are three phases of clinical trials:

Phase 1 – establishes safe dosage of a new drug

Phase 2 – determines efficacy of new drug

Phase 3 – compares new drug against current therapies

For a comprehensive overview of the clinical trial process, and how to decide if a trial is for you, please view Dr. Gwen Nichol’s excellent  presentation from the 2014 IWMF Educational Forum in Tampa.

At the moment there are NO open clinical trials for WM patients offered at the Queen Elizabeth II Cancer Centre in Halifax. You can explore clinical trial information at  clinicaltrials.gov.

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