A revolutionary new blood cancer treatment now available at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont

MONTRÉAL, Oct. 9, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - The CIUSSS de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal is extremely proud to announce that the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy Kymriah™ (tisagenlecleucel) is now available at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont (HMR). HMR is the first Canadian centre to offer this treatment to adult patients in the country.

This innovation will be gradually deployed in the coming months for patients with diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or acute lymphoblastic leukemia that is relapsed or refractory to conventional therapies. "CAR-T cell treatment heralds a new era of personalized therapy that harnesses the patient's own immune system to fight cancer. This therapeutic strategy provides an option for patients with an aggressive disease whose health has not improved with current treatments. About 20% of patients with refractory diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma survive after two years. With CAR T-cell, the remission rate and survival time of these patients could double, which is a major breakthrough," said Dr. Isabelle Fleury, a hematologist at HMR.

For Sylvain Lemieux, President and CEO of the CIUSSS de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, this innovative hematology treatment confirms the level of excellence of HMR, which is recognized as one of the world's leading research poles in immunology-hematology and cellular therapy. "The expertise at HMR has raised the profile of our organization, which is a major Quebec, Canadian and worldwide pole for health innovation. Thanks to the dedicated work of our care, research and teaching teams, patients can now access this new treatment with demonstrated effectiveness and impact on quality of life," said Mr. Lemieux.

About CAR-T cell therapy
CAR-T cell therapy involves changing T lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell of the immune system that normally fights infection, through the insertion of a gene that allows the T lymphocytes to better recognize and destroy cancer cells.

CAR-T cell stands for "chimeric antigen receptor-T cell," as these T lymphocytes carry a special antigen receptor that binds to cancer cells and kills them.

About the CIUSSS de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal
The Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal (CIUSSS-EMTL) has 26 facilities and serves a population of over 500,000 Montrealers.

Affiliated with Université de Montréal, it offers a full range of first-line health and social services; residential services; general, specialized, and subspecialized hospital care; and mental health care.

HEALTH INNOVATION RISES IN THE EAST. With its two research centres and four areas of excellence that include mental health, immunology-oncology, vision health and nephrology, the CIUSSS-EMTL is a pole for health innovation in Canada. Its teams advance innovative ideas that raise the profile of the CIUSSS-EMTL nationally and internationally.

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