Clinical Trials That Have Changed Practice at The Princess Margaret and Beyond
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia
A bone marrow transplant used to be the only treatment option for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). But a new drug called Imatinib was developed in the late '90s that changed everything.
The Princess Margaret was one of only two centres in Canada to participate in the Phase 2 clinical trial for the drug. “All of a sudden, here is a pill that's good for anybody, at any age and people are responding to treatment,” says Dr. Jeffrey Lipton. “It really changed how we treat this disease.”
The Cancer Centre has always been one of the major players in CML and was one of the first centres to offer transplants for the disease in the '70s. The Princess Margaret's molecular lab received international recognition for its work in CML and is now one of the top cancer testing labs in the world.
In 2018, Dr. Lipton received an award for his work in CML from a patients' group – many of whom he had known for 30 years or more.
“The expected average survival before all this began was maybe four to five years. Now, as I like to tell patients, you're going to die, but it's not going to be from CML.”