Photo: Seated, from left to right: Linda Vallée, Michèle Tremblay, Philippe Nadeau. Standing: Manon Lescault, Yolaine Hébert, Marisa Mochiutti, Marie-Claude Bourgeois, Marie-Claude Lépine, Dr. Jean-François Larouche, Marie-Claude Tremblay. Missing from the photo: Denise Légaré.


Discover the hematology/oncology clinical research team at the Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus in Quebec City

Clinical trials, cell therapies and partnerships with different specialities: the hematology/oncology research team at the Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus (HEJ) in Quebec City is involved in all areas where research can make a difference for its patients.

The HEJ has been engaged in hematology/oncology clinical research activities for nearly 30 years. With the arrival of new recruits in 2012, the team became more structured and the range of opportunities increased: it now boasts twelve doctors, six research nurses and four administrative employees.

Some thirty studies are underway involving different tumour sites: lymphoma, leukemia, myeloma, lung, neurological cancer, etc. In each of the studies, the doctors on the team assume the role of principal investigator or sub-investigator. Each doctor can ask their eligible patients to join any of the studies of the group. With the many new therapies and options that now exist, this makes every clinical trial available to a larger number of patients.


Innovative Treatments
HEJ’s hematology/oncology team is among the few in Quebec working on cell therapy. A phase lll study on CAR-T cell therapy for lymphoma (Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell) headed by Dr. Jean-François Larouche is presently underway.

The group also collaborates with other institutions, including the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, on other projects, such as leukemia and transplantation (Dr. Robert Delage), cord blood transplants (Dr. Frédéric Barabé) and the collection of data to populate databases, such as data from the Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) Quebec Research Group (Dr. Robert Delage).


Tapping into Local Expertise
The team also benefits from expertise found right within its walls, as the HEJ is home to a large neurosurgery centre. The hospital’s hemato-oncologists have developed a collaboration with the centre’s neurosurgeons for the treatment of glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer (Dr. André Blais). “We had the opportunity to join a phase lll study conducted by a European group; we are testing a new drug that is believed to extend patients’ lives. We are one of the sites with the best recruitment performance for this clinical trial because about 80 glioblastoma cases are diagnosed every year at the HEJ. This allows us to offer an attractive alternative to dozens of patients, especially since there hasn’t been much progress in the treatment of these tumours in recent years,” explained Philippe Nadeau, Executive Director of the hematology/oncology research team at HEJ.

The hematologists are also involved in the Centre d’hémophilie de l’est du Québec (Hemophilia Centre for Eastern Quebec), located in the HEJ. The team is already collaborating on research conducted by the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center on different hemophilia treatments and on clotting problems (Drs. Christine Demers and Stéphanie Cloutier). The research team would like to further develop this branch in the years to come.

Another local collaboration is with endocrinologists from the CHUL: patients with thyroid cancer are being followed jointly by Dr. Maryse Brassard and hemato-oncologist Catherine Doyle of the HEJ team. The pair has already collaborated on two thyroid cancer studies, with the goal of offering patients new treatment avenues.


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Source: CHU de Québec-Université Laval