Original Publication Date: 1 November, 2016
Publication / Source: International Journal of Hematologic Oncology
Authors: Donna E Reece, Laura Dormer
Donna E Reece from the Princess Margaret Hospital/University of Toronto (Canada) speaks to Laura Dormer, Commissioning Editor at Future Science Group (London, UK).
Could you briefly summarize your career path & how you came to work in your current role at Princess Margaret Hospital/University of Toronto?
I trained in the USA, at Baylor College of Medicine (TX, USA), then went on to complete a fellowship in hematology-oncology at Washington University in St Louis (MO, USA). For the past 30 years, I have primarily lived and worked in Canada, starting when I moved to Vancouver to help develop a bone marrow transplant program. At this time, bone marrow transplants began to emerge as a good treatment for myeloma, which piqued my interest in the disease. I worked in the bone marrow/stem cell transplantation field for 25 years, but really became involved in myeloma management when I moved to Princess Margaret Hospital/University of Toronto, which has a long legacy of myeloma research. Today, I have evolved into a full-time myeloma-focused doctor who still does stem cell transplants amid a number of other nontransplant therapies, including using exciting new drugs. It has not been the ‘usual’ path for a myeloma doctor, but has been a wonderful one. Autologous stem cell transplants continue to play an important role in the management of myeloma – a role that has not diminished over the last 20 years. Transplants were a key first step to improve disease management for myeloma patients historically, but there is now a pressing need for additional new drugs for use before and after relapse, and for any subsequent relapses.