Dr. Mark Minden
Leukemia Specialist

Dr. Mark Minden
Dr. Mark Minden

For people with leukemia and other blood-related cancers such as lymphoma and myeloma, hope lives at Princess Margaret Hospital.  

This is where an elite team of research scientists is figuring out why white blood cells sometimes grow uncontrollably and become cancer-causing cells -- and how to stop them.  

To this end, researchers are investigating the changes in cells that cause blood-related cancers in the first place. They are developing tests to better classify the types of disease, and they are following patients through clinical drug trials to find out how, for example, leukemia responds to new drug treatments.  

“Our research is helping us refine and improve treatments. As we gain more understanding of cell defects and how to modify them, treatment is no longer a shotgun approach, but more like an arrow aimed at a specific target,” says leukemia specialist Dr. Mark Minden. This targeted therapy may be through new drugs or by harnessing the patient’s own immune system.  

“The future promise for patients,” says Dr. Minden, “is that we will be able to turn our normal defending cells into ‘smart cells’ capable of killing the diseased cells in a person’s own body.”  His researchers are conducting experiments to find the best ways to trigger such “smart cells”.  

For almost 50 years, Princess Margaret Hospital has been a leader in leukemia and blood-related cancer research and treatment. Today, its Philip S. Orsino Hematology Centre is home to Canada’s largest in-patient leukemia unit.    

For leukemia patients like Elena Ruggero Gallucci, a mother of two young children who lives in Woodbridge, Ontario and was treated by Dr. Minden and the Princess Margaret team, the care she received delivered the greatest hope of all – survival.  

“I’m in remission now. I’m thankful for every minute of every day that I have on this Earth with my precious family. And I have Princess Margaret Hospital to thank for that.”
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