WM in Canada

WM in Canada2021-06-16T15:07:28-04:00

We plan to run occasional articles on this website about aspects of WM research and treatment, specific to Canada and Canadian patients.  If you have any suggestions for topics that you would like to see explored or commented on, you can email your suggestions or questions to wm.in.Canada@wmfc.ca.

Although these are neither medical advice nor the opinion of the WMFC Board, we hope that as educational material, these help you navigate the Canadian world of WM.

Current Canadian Research in WM

April 20th, 2023|

The WMFC and IWMF are co-funding cutting edge WM research at the Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Hospital, in Toronto.

Two major WM events are occurring at Sunnybrook.  The first is Dr. Neil Berinstein’s pan-Canadian BRAWM trial that is headquartered at Sunnybrook.  This exciting trial combines Bendamustine, Rituximab and the BTK inhibitor, Acalabrutinib (BRA) for first line treatment in WM.  Within a few months it is expected that the trial will have filled all 59 openings in this coast-to-coast trial.

The second event arises from the first.  Patients in the BRAWM trial have blood and marrow samples taken before, during and after the […]

WMFC and LLSC Announce a WM-focussed Operating Grant

September 13th, 2022|

The WMFC, in partnership with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC), is pleased to announce the availability of an Operating Grant for research into WM.

An Operating Grant is a two-year grant designed to provide funding to research that may ultimately lead to a significant change in the understanding, diagnosis, or treatment of blood cancer — in our case, specifically for WM.

All the details are available at the LLSC website on Operating Grants, but the highlights of such an award are as follows:

  • Available to researchers at Canadian institutions
  • Funding is for up […]

WM and DVT — One Member’s Cautionary Story

August 18th, 2022|

Ed. note: Many of us need to go the Emergency department from time to time, for things not related to WM.  During the discussion of our symptoms with the triage nurse, there is the inevitable request along the lines of, “Tell me about your medical history”.  Of course, we obediently mention that we have “Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia”.  They express puzzlement.  We spell it for them; they type it into our medical record.  Possibly correctly.  We explain that it is an indolent form of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.  That they understand. 

But not all non-Hodgkin Lymphomas have the […]

How many of us are there, anyway?

July 8th, 2022|

How many WMers are there in Canada?  And how do we know?

The “urban myth” says “oh, there are about 150 people diagnosed with WM in Canada every year”.  But for some of us, this wasn’t enough.  We wanted to know.  And it just wasn’t enough to refer to the urban myth.

The obvious place to look is, perhaps, the Canadian Cancer Society (the CCS).  They publish an annual report containing extensive statistics on cancer in Canada.  The latest one, for 2021, is an excellent reference.  Unfortunately, while the CCS does a great job breaking down the […]

Another Clinical Trial Available in Canada: Nemtabrutinib

February 23rd, 2022|

Nemtabrutinib (a.k.a. MK-1026 and ARQ 531) is a BTK inhibitor, but, similar to Pirtobrutinib (LOXO-305), has a reversible (“non-covalent”) binding behaviour to the BTK site.  (For more information on its chemistry, see this site.)

An open-label phase 2 trial of Nemtabrutinib, including WM patients, is now recruiting at locations around the world.  In particular, three (as of May 24/2022) Canadian locations are included:

  • The Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary, AB; Study co-ordinator is at (403) 521-3723
  • The Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, QC; Study co-ordinator is at (514) 340-8222, x24572
  • The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, ON; Study co-ordinator […]

Paying for BTK Inhibitors in Canada

March 24th, 2022|

BTK Inhibitor drugs such as Ibrutinib, Zanubrutinib, etc, are very good drugs for the treatment of WM, especially for relapsed and refractory WM.  Unfortunately, unlike other drugs used in the treatment of WM, they are currently not generally funded by the Provinces for the treatment of WM, primarily because of their high cost.  This is despite the fact that most of these drugs are approved by Health Canada for the treatment of WM.

So, unlike other drugs used in the treatment of WM, paying for these drugs becomes an issue.

We have addressed the question of “How does one manage the costs […]

Participating in a US-based trial from Canada … During a Pandemic

October 6th, 2021|

Ed. Note, Oct., 2021:  Ron Ternoway provides us valuable insights on what it is like to participate in a US-based clinical trial, from Canada, during a Pandemic.

It’s been over 14 years since my Waldenstrom’s diagnosis, and I’ve spent half of them on clinical trials.

I’ve shared my experiences from the patient point of view, first at the 2017 Phoenix Ed Forum (see link to video and slides below) and then in the October 2020 IWMF Torch newsletter (page 4):



For the past year, in these uncertain COVID times, I have been enrolled in a US-based […]

CAR T-cell Progress in Canada

August 29th, 2021|

In the two decades since I was diagnosed with WM, I have seen many changes in the treatment of our disease.  Back then, my conventional treatment options were pretty well limited to cyclophosphamide or fludarabine.  Rituximab treatment was reserved for those who had relapsed.  How the times have changed!  And the future holds even more promise with new and upcoming therapies.

One of the most exciting developments is CAR T-cell therapy, which is being used, successfully, on WM patients in clinical trials and is considered to be potentially curative.  Unfortunately, Canadian lymphoma CAR T-cell trial sites in Ottawa and Vancouver ( […]

World-class WM clinical trial in Canada

June 15th, 2021|

This first article in our new, Canadian-focussed series, explores an important new WM clinical trial that is now up and running in Canada.  This trial presents a unique opportunity for previously untreated WM patients who now require treatment for the first time.  As a Canadian WM clinical trial, there are no trial costs associated with it for the patient.

This trial is headquartered out of Sunnybrook Health Services Centre in Toronto, and the principal investigator is Dr. Neil Berinstein, who is well known and respected within the WM community.  The trial is also now running at BCCancer in Vancouver.  Halifax , […]


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