May 02, 2016

By Jane Brown

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Stem cell therapy access for cancer patients has been expanded here in Ontario.

Health Minister Doctor Eric Hoskins has introduced a critical policy change that will make cancer patients who’ve relapsed after chemotherapy, eligible for life saving stem cell transplants.

The minister has also committed to expanding access for stem cell therapy treatment, in Ontario and out of the country, to leukemia patients who are not in complete remission after chemotherapy.

Hoskins has also outlined a plan to open a second stem cell transplant centre at Sunnybrook Hospital to take pressure off of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, which closed its doors to new transplant patients in March because the waiting list is already at 8 months.

In addition, the convoluted referral process for patients sent out of country will be steamlined and a ministerial task force to provide the government with immediate and ongoing advice will be created.

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