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Collaborating to Find a Cure

Posted by Erinor Jacob-Levine | UNB Medicine on April 24, 2017 in News
The Biomedical Research Laboratory at Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick (DMNB)
The Biomedical Research Laboratory at Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick (DMNB)


Last month, Dr. Tony Reiman, assistant dean of Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick and UNB’s Canadian Cancer Society Research Chair received $5 million in research funding from the Terry Fox Foundation for a study on multiple myeloma.

Dr. Reiman’s research is a quintessentially collaborative research project. The research team is comprised of members from various universities and hospitals across Canada. It also collaborates locally involving staff, students and researchers from Dalhousie, UNB and Horizon Health Network.

“Large scale research like this can only happen through collaboration,” said Dr. Reiman. “We are working with myeloma physicians to enroll patients in this study from cancer clinics across the country, from Vancouver to Halifax.”   

Multiple Myeloma

A cancer of the blood, multiple myeloma impacts 2,800 Canadians a year. Presently there is no cure. While it is treatable, the average life expectancy of multiple myeloma patients is only about five years.

Dr. Reiman’s research will involve 250 multiple myeloma patients from across Canada. He and his team seek understand how to treat an individual’s cancer by measuring, characterizing and specifically targeting the cancer cells that do not respond to the initial treatment.

“We will be supported by the leadership of the Terry Fox Research Institute and guided by an internationally composed scientific advisory committee. Together we will work to advance the care of myeloma patients through this research.”

Collaboration moving forward

DMNB’s research laboratory will be a site that receives, banks and studies the blood and bone marrow collected from the participants of the study.

“To lead this project here in Saint John we have a team working with UNB, Dalhousie University and the Saint John Regional Hospital,” Dr. Reiman explained. “We are working with experts at cancer centres and universities across Canada in myeloma biology and therapeutics, diagnostic imaging, health economics, quality of life and health outcomes research.”