June 16th, 2017

// Dr. Spaner at Sunnybrook Research Institute receives prestigious UFCW Canada Award for Leukemia Research

Dr. Spaner at Sunnybrook Research Institute receives prestigious UFCW Canada Award for Leukemia Research


TORONTO, June 16, 2017 /CNW/ - The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada together with  its largest philanthropic partner, UFCW Canada (United Food and Commercial Workers Canada union), are proud to announce  that Dr. David Spaner, MD, PhD, FRCP is the 2017 recipient of the UFCW Canada Award for Leukemia Research.

Dr. Spaner is a clinician-scientist at the Odette Cancer Center at Sunnybrook Hospital and associate professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. He is renowned for his work in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and the goal of his research laboratory is to understand the biology of this cancer and develop better treatments for it. The award, which is tied to a $ 200,000 research grant, celebrates progressive and groundbreaking research in the field of blood cancers.

CLL is the most common adult leukemia in Canada affecting approximately 9,000 people.  Dr. Spaner's research project, which spans 2 years, aims to study the best way to block the effects of cytokines (proteins which keep the cancer cells alive) in  CLL patients who are being treated with Ibrutinib.

"We are honoured to present this award to Dr. Spaner today at our national Leukemia Gala," says UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema. "UFCW Canada, and UFCW Canada Local Unions and members are passionate about leukemia research because we know these efforts have made such a difference in finding better therapies, and in raising public awareness that this is a battle that can be won – and is being won, thanks to people like Dr. Spaner."

Over the past three decades, the UFCW Canada family has raised over $36 million to support the
life-changing and life-saving efforts of the LLSC. Combining all efforts big and small across Canada, the UFCW Canada family continues to lead as the largest annual source of donations to the LLSC.

"We are delighted with the CLL research and clinical work that Dr. Spaner and Sunnybrook are undertaking to improve the quality of life for this largest group of blood cancer patients," says Shelagh Tippet-Fagyas, President of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. "The grant will support improving the efficacy of Ibrutinib as a treatment, and potentially other leukemia treatments."

About the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada is the single largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancers In Canada. LLSC funds life-saving blood cancer research across the country, and provides free information and support services to patients and caregivers. Our mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. To find out more visit llscanada.org.

About UFCW Canada (United Food and Commercial Workers Canada union)

UFCW Canada is Canada's leading and most progressive private-sector union, representing more than a quarter of a million workers in Canada's fastest growing industries including the food, retail, hospitality, health care, security, industrial, and office and professional sectors. UFCW Canada is the country's most innovative organization dedicated to building fairness in workplaces and communities. Since adopting it as its charity of choice in 1987, the UFCW Canada family has raised over $36 million in support of the LLSC. To find out more about UFCW Canada and its innovative work, please visit www.ufcw.ca.

SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada


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