Congratulations to Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) in Toronto which was recently designated as a Center of Excellence by the U.S.-based Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation. PMH is a comprehensive cancer treatment and research centre in Toronto, Ontario.
The others to have received this designation are the Hospital for Sick Children and the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, both also in Toronto.
To be recognized as a Center of Excellence, an institution must have an established university (or equivalent) program; recognized morphologic expertise in MDS; available cytogenetics (chromosome evaluation) and/or molecular genetics; documentation of peer-reviewed publications in the field and the ability; intention to register patients in the MDS International Registry Database; and ongoing research including Institutional Review Board-approved clinical trials.
The Princess Margaret Hospital is currently involved in a number of clinical trials for MDS and aplastic anemia patients including the following.
- a pilot study to evaluate immunosuppressive therapy using a reduced dose of thymoglobulin (rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin) and cyclosporine in the treatment of patients over 60 years of age with low-risk MDS or AA;
- a phase II trial of sunitinib, a multi-targeted receptor tyrosine kinase (receptor enzyme) inhibitor, in patients with MDS or chronic myelomonocytic leuekmia (CMML);
- a pivotal randomized study of an anti-cancer drug called lonafarnib versus placebo in the treatment of patients with MDS or chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) who are platelet transfusion dependent with or without anemia;
- a multi-centre, open-label, phase II study of obatoclax mesylate in patients with previously untreated MDS with anemia and/or thrombocytopenia
- (a low platelet count);
- a study of health-related quality of life in patients requiring chronic red cell transfusions with the goal of developing a new disease-specific measure;
a phase 1 study of MKC-1 in patients with refractory hematologic malignancies;
- a phase I/II study of sorafenib in combination with low dose cytarabine in elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia or high risk MDS;
- and a pilot study to understand the impact of AA and its treatment on quality of life.