We need to continue to build momentum with world-class discoveries and translational research that will have an impact on patient care. We need more made-in-Alberta solutions to cancer. We need to double our capacity for clinical trials. We need to make sure no one crosses cancer alone.
The Alberta Cancer Foundation is raising $30 million to change the way we treat cancer here at the Cross Cancer Institute, in Alberta, and around the world.
Here is How We Will Get There
Purpose-built clinical trials unit
The Cross Cancer Institute is a 46,300 m² space that provides a variety of essential services for cancer patients. What it doesn’t have, despite being one of the best Canadian trial sites to conduct studies, is a dedicated, purpose-built clinical trials unit where physicians and clinical teams can provide optimal care for patients since patients on clinical trials often require long periods of observation and multiple blood draws specific to the trial. A brand new, purpose-built clinical trials unit will allow patients to be treated in one common area designed for those longer treatments and specific monitoring they need, and free up standard day care spots for patients who are receiving non-trial therapy.
Expand the pharmacy footprint
The pharmacy is responsible for mixing and dispensing all chemotherapy preparations for every single cancer patient in northern Alberta no matter where they live. That’s a lot of activity for a pharmacy that’s only 520 m². To double our clinical trials capacity, we must increase the capacity of the pharmacy to manage that growth.
Centre of excellence for brachytherapy
Brachytherapy is a rare area of specialization and Alberta is positioned to step onto the world stage as leaders in this field. An innovative form of radiation therapy more efficient and less invasive than traditional radiation, brachytherapy uses surgically implanted needles, catheters, or applicators to deliver radiation directly to the tumour site in the form of seeds or other sources. It can save patients from having to make multiple trips to the hospital for treatment, and because radiation is delivered directly to the tumour, there is less risk of exposure or damage to other parts of the body.
To capitalize on our province’s expertise in this important form of therapy, the Alberta Cancer Foundation is creating a Brachytherapy Research Centre of Excellence with two nodes: one at the Cross Cancer Institute and one at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary. Each node will play to its particular strengths and research interests – there won’t be a type of brachytherapy we won’t do in Alberta.
Chemotherapy and day-treatment space
Staff have done their best to provide comfort and warmth in an area that is crowded, cramped, windowless, and smack in the middle of a high-traffic outpatient clinic. The new treatment area will be quieter, considerably bigger, and have plenty of windows to let in natural light. It will also be more effective for the staff, allowing them to be as efficient as possible when delivering care.
Virtual care hub
Many patients treated at the Cross Cancer Institute need to travel hundreds of kilometres back and forth from their homes across the province. A virtual care hub will allow many patients to receive treatment close to home, with the support of their family and health care staff they know, while still benefitting from the world-class expertise and programs available at the Cross Cancer Institute.