Here’s how a Hamilton hospital became a world-wide leader in stem cell transplants

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Published August 12, 2021 at 5:33 pm

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Hamilton’s Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre officially unveiled its expanded and modernized stem cell transplant unit.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott met with staff Juravinski on Thursday (Aug. 12) to formally mark the recent opening of the expanded Ron and Nancy Clark Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapies Unit.

“With this expansion, more patients will be able to access world-class cancer care closer to home. They can get the treatment they need…where and when they need it,” said Premier Doug Ford.

With the expansion, Juravinski is implementing a “state-of-the-art design for a healing environment,” including 15 new inpatient beds to support care for more than 75 additional patients per year, five new treatment bays for hospital day patients (bringing the total number of treatment bays to 35, two lounge areas for family and friends equipped with kitchens, and expanded laboratory and pharmacy space

In 2019, the Ontario government announced an investment of over $25 million to modernize and expand the stem cell transplant unit at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre, one of three world-class hospitals offering all forms of stem cell transplants to adult patients in Ontario.

“With this additional capacity, Hamilton Health Sciences staff and physicians will continue to build on more than 50 years of pioneering treatment, research and innovation in this specialty area of care,” said Dr. Ralph Meyer, Vice-President of Oncology and Palliative Care at Hamilton Health Sciences, and Regional Vice-President of Cancer Care Ontario.

“Expanding the reach of the program and its clinical expertise is tremendous news for patients across Ontario.”

The hospital welcomed its first patients to the new unit in November 2020 and by March 2021 completed over 122 stem cell transplants.

In 2020, Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre became the first hospital in Ontario to provide specialized Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell (CART-Cell) therapy for patients suffering from lymphoma. It was also the first in Canada to provide this therapy to outpatients.

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