A Closer Look at Cancer Cells

“Our laboratory is a centre of excellence for the region and our experts play an important role in the care of patients with various blood cancers,” explains Dr. Catherine Ross, Medical Lead for the Flow Cytometry and Malignant Hematology Lab at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.

A specialist examining blood cells on a computer.

A specialist examining blood cells.

Specialists at the lab are trained to identify abnormal cells in blood samples, which is important to the diagnosis of various blood disorders and cancers like leukemia and lymphoma.

“We work closely with the stem cell transplant program,” says David Kimmel, Technical Specialist for Maligant Hematology. “We are able to count the number of stem cells harvested from a patient to ensure a sufficient number are present for a successful transplant.”

Regional importance

Offering specialized expertise and state-of-the-art technology, the lab works with care providers throughout south-central Ontario to ensure the best patient care possible.

“We analyze blood samples sent from hospitals throughout the region,” says Teresa DiFrancesco, Manager of Special Hematology and Genetic Services. “Time is of the essence in the work we do, so lab results are delivered to clinicians within a matter of hours. Our staff is mindful of how critical our results are for patients and the diagnosis and care they receive.”

“We analyze blood samples sent from hospitals throughout the region.” – Teresa DiFrancesco

Dr. Ross is proud of the lab’s ability to positively impact the lives of patients and their families: “Although we work behind the scenes, we help to put patients on the right track for treatment. That is a very gratifying part of the work we do.”