Donors improve survival of cancer patients

Dr. David Palma

Cancer research can take years before it turns from a dream into a reality for helping patients. Donor support can rapidly accelerate progress.

In recent news, a remarkable therapy discovery, fuelled by donations, will extend the lives of people with certain types of advanced cancer, giving them more time to spend with loved ones.

“In the past, the spread of lung cancer to the bones, or breast cancer to the brain, was considered incurable,” says David Palma, MD, PhD, lead author on the recent study and a researcher at Lawson Health Research Institute and radiation oncologist at London Health Sciences Centre.

Now, with the help of generous donors, researchers have proven that high-dose radiation can improve survival rate in patients with cancer that has spread to five or fewer spots and increase survival by an average of 13 months.

While studying this type of therapy since 2000, the concerns about patient safety and effectiveness were a major hurdle. It is only now that studies and specialized treatment are showing the procedure is as safe and effective as other cancer treatments. 

The excitement about the potential for this research means that further studies, supported by London Health Sciences Foundation, are expected to launch in early 2019.

Read the story by Lawson Health Research Institute