PRESS RELEASE: JULY 05, 2018

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Fighting cancer is in her blood: Dr. Rena Buckstein, 2018 UFCW Canada Leukemia Research Award recipient

For more than two decades, Dr. Rena Buckstein has focused her research and passion on finding better 

treatments for blood cancers. “I was drawn to research into malignant hematology (blood cancers) very early in my medical career. I always wanted the toughest nuts to crack, the toughest diseases to treat, and I also loved looking at my adversary under a microscope.”

Dr. Rena Buckstein (centre), the 2018 recipient of the UFCW Canada Award for Leukemia Research, with LLSC President Alicia Talarico and UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema

Dr. Buckstein, who graduated medical school in 1989 and later trained as a hematologist, is this year’s recipient of the UFCW Canada (United Food and Commercial Workers union) Leukemia Research Award.

Since 1985, UFCW Canada members have fundraised over $41.4 million to support the life-changing work of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC). The LLSC presents the award to its top-scoring research grant applicant. This vital partnership has contributed to many advancements in the treatment and outcomes of blood cancer.

“Over the past twenty years, the research efforts funded by LLSC have translated into significant improvements in the clinic and in survival,” says Dr. Buckstein, whose research lab is housed at the Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto. “We have seen increased rates of cure in cancers that previously were felt to be incurable, and the research efforts have paved the way now to more precision medicine.”

Dr. Buckstein’s current research focuses on novel targeted therapies for blood cancers, specifically myelodysplastic syndromes and lymphoma. “It takes many years to bring research discoveries from the lab to the clinic, and it is very expensive to do, but once it happens, it has rippling effects for generations.”

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