News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

January 9, 2023

Manitoba Government Invests $6.6 Million to Create Innovative CAR-T Cancer Therapy Program at CancerCare Manitoba

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Strengthening Care in Manitoba a Significant Priority: Gordon

The Manitoba government is investing $6.6 million to begin a specialized cancer therapy program at CancerCare Manitoba to offer new care options close to home for people with specific cancers that have not responded well to more conventional treatments, Health Minister Audrey Gordon announced today.

“This is a relatively new area of life-saving cancer therapy and we are pleased to support CancerCare to bring it to Manitoba,” said Gordon. “The ability to receive this specialized care close to home, as well as a person’s health-care team and other support systems are incredibly important. Strengthening how we care for patients right here in Manitoba is a significant priority for our government.”

The chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell cancer therapy program provides personalized immunotherapy for people with blood or lymphatic cancers like lymphoma that do not respond or respond well to conventional treatments. This specialized therapy harnesses the patient’s immune system to find and attack cancer cells.

“This is a very exciting day for Manitobans. CancerCare Manitoba is committed to bringing high-quality evidence-based treatment to Manitobans,” said Dr. Sri Navaratnam, president and CEO, CancerCare Manitoba. “We will now be able to provide life-saving CAR-T therapy to patients closer to home, close to their families and support systems, which is very important for their recovery and a priority for CancerCare Manitoba. We are very grateful to the Manitoba government for recognizing and funding this treatment.”

Once the CAR-T therapy program is established, it will initially be available to two groups of patients:

  • people aged 25 or younger, including children, with acute leukemia; and
  • people aged 18 and older with aggressive lymphoma, if other therapies have not worked.

The minister noted this approach will help attract and retain highly skilled technicians and researchers working in this field of cancer therapy.

Manitoba currently sends a few people with these types of cancers for CAR-T therapy at health-care facilities outside of the province every year.

For more information about this initiative, contact CancerCare Manitoba at

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