Myeloma patients across Canada to benefit from new Research Chair


MONTREAL, Sept. 12, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Myeloma Canada, together with Université de Montréal, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital (MRH), Celgene and the Fondation MRH, today announced the creation of the Myeloma Canada Chair in Multiple Myeloma Research.

Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a blood cancer that affects plasma cells in the bone marrow.  Seven new cases are diagnosed each day in Canada and although the disease remains incurable, new treatments are providing new hope for patients.

The Chair's aim is to improve patient outcomes by advancing clinical and basic research and to create tools to ensure patients and the Canadian myeloma community are kept informed of and benefit from research advancements.

"Myeloma Canada is honoured to partner with Université de Montréal,  Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital and the other donor partners in the creation of the Myeloma Canada Chair in Multiple Myeloma Research," said John Lemieux, Co-founder and President of Myeloma Canada.  "The opportunity to take a lead role as a member of the Chair's Management Committee will help us ensure that the Chair's focus on clinical and basic research will complement our core mission to improve myeloma patient outcomes throughout Canada."

The Myeloma Canada Chair in Multiple Myeloma Research at the Université de Montréal was launched in the presence of Dr Guy Breton, Rector of Université de Montréal, Dr Hélène Boisjoly, Dean of the University's Faculty of Medicine, Manon Boily, Executive Director of Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, John Lemieux, Co-founder and President of Myeloma Canada, Kevin Leshuk, Vice-President and General Manager of Celgene Inc., Dr Richard LeBlanc, Chair Holder, and donors who supported the creation of the Chair.

The Myeloma Canada Chair in Multiple Myeloma Research will be led by Dr Richard LeBlanc, Professor of Medicine at University de Montréal and medical hematologist-oncologist at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital.  Dr LeBlanc is recognized for his involvement in caring for patients with multiple myeloma and for his work as Medical Director of the Immunology Laboratory at MRH.  He is also a member of  Myeloma Canada's Scientific Advisory Board of Myeloma Canada and of the Myeloma Canada Research Network.

"Myeloma Canada is elated over the creation of this important new research Chair.  We are confident that it will ensure the long-term infrastructure necessary to conduct leading research into this devastating disease and provide new treatments for myeloma patients across the country," said Aldo Del Col, Co-founder & Executive Director of Myeloma Canada.

Dr Andrew Belch, Chair of the Myeloma Canada Scientific Advisory Board, commented, "We are all extremely proud that one of our members has been appointed the first Chairholder of this important Canadian myeloma research initiative".

In addition to clinical research, the Myeloma Canada Chair in Multiple Myeloma Research will support basic and translational research through the MRH myeloma tissue bank and immunotherapy research in cooperation with the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC), a world-renowned research institution based at University of Montreal.

About Myeloma Canada

Myeloma Canada is the only national organization exclusively devoted to the Canadian myeloma community. As a patient-driven, patient-focused organization, Myeloma Canada has been Making Myeloma Matter since 2004, working with leading myeloma researchers and clinicians as well as other cancer organizations and local support groups across Canada. Myeloma Canada seeks to strengthen the voice of the Canadian myeloma community and improve the quality of life of myeloma patients, their caregivers and families through education, awareness, advocacy and research.

Myeloma Canada is Making Myeloma Matter for the over 7,000 Canadians affected by this incurable, yet increasingly treatable cancer by:

  • Providing educational resources and support to patients, their families and caregivers
  • Increasing awareness of the disease and its effects on the lives of patients and families
  • Advancing research and promoting access to new drug trials in Canada
  • Facilitating access to new therapies, treatment options and health care resources

For more information, visit

About Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma (or simply myeloma) is a rare cancer of the bone marrow affecting production of red cells, white cells and platelets, and can lead to anaemia, infections, renal failure, bone damage and severe pain. Every day, seven more Canadians are diagnosed with this incurable but increasingly treatable cancer.

New drugs have been successful in extending the lives of patients, but the reality is that myeloma remains a fatal disease and more needs to be done to advance the search for a cure.

About Université de Montréal

Université de Montréal was founded in 1878, and with over 60,000 students (including its affiliates École Polytechnique and HEC Montréal), it is the largest university in Quebec and the third largest in Canada. The University is considered to be one of the most cosmopolitan institutions in the country, as over 7,000 of its students come from abroad. Université de Montréal awards over 11,000 qualifications every year. Deeply rooted in Montreal and dedicated to its international mission, Université de Montréal is one of the greatest universities in the French-speaking world.

About the Fondation MRH

As one of its key partners, the Fondation MRH supports Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, a centre affiliated with Université de Montréal, in its strategic development orientations in order to respond more effectively to patient needs. Every year, thanks to fundraising campaigns and original fund development activities, the Fondation MRH raises over 10 million dollars that it dedicates entirely to structuring projects. In collaboration with partners, donors and private and corporate foundations, the Fondation MRH makes a positive difference in the life of its patients.

About Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital

Affiliated with Université de Montréal, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital is a major medical institution with a world-class research centre bringing together care, teaching, and medical research. Its 5,500 employees and physicians work with the population of Greater Montreal and beyond in its role as a supra-regional hospital. Three areas distinguish it nationally and internationally: vision health, hematology-oncology, and nephrology.


For further information:

Victoria Pickering  T: 514 771-2837 or  T: 1-888-798-5771

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