Improving the quality of life of people with blood cancer step by step
Improving the quality of life of people with blood cancer step by step. That is what we have been working on for many years. In recent years, these efforts have accelerated, thanks to innovative developments. Yet one thing remains clear: we cannot achieve this on our own. Only through strong partnerships can we help people with blood cancer cope with their disease in the best possible way.
It's blood cancer month
There are different forms of blood cancer. Yet, they have one thing in common: they cause abnormal growth of blood cells, which disrupts their functioning. According to the Belgian Cancer Registry Foundation, blood cancers represented nearly 11% of all new cancer diagnoses in the country in 2019, amounting to 7,500 new diagnoses per year, with men and patients older than 60 years making up the most affected group.1 That is why, during 'Blood Cancer Month', we raise awareness of blood cancer. With the slogan "It's in our blood", we want to convey that we are continuing to work together with healthcare providers, patients, and everyone around them to be able to improve the lives of people with blood cancer. It's in the blood of all of us!
Despite the large number of blood cancer diagnoses, survival rates for people with blood cancer are improving. A better understanding of the disease, higher quality of care, easier and earlier diagnoses, as well as greater availability of targeted treatments, are all reasons that have led to these improvements. Janssen also plays a role in this. Over the years, Janssen has made its expertise and numerous innovations available to these patients. For example, the construction of Janssen’s first European state-of-the-art facilities for the production of CAR T therapy in Ghent will contribute to the availability of an innovative therapy: cell therapy.
CAR T-cell therapy is a perfect example of highly personalized technology. By extracting immune cells (T-cells) from the patient's blood and reprogramming them to better recognize and destroy cancer cells, this form of therapy uses the power of the patient's own immune system to attack the cancer. This improves the treatment options for patients with different types of cancer, including blood cancer. Cell therapy is one of the most innovative and ground-breaking therapies.
Curious about what CAR T therapy entails? Learn more about it here:
The development and production of novel therapies requires great innovative power and strong collaboration. But it doesn't stop there. Our commitment to people with blood cancer goes beyond developing therapies and drugs. That's why we work with both public and private organizations to raise awareness and provide information about different diseases.
For example, we developed the guide “Living with Lymphoma" together with Lymphoma Vereniging Vlaanderen vzw (LVV), and association Action Lymphome Wallonie Bruxelles (AWLB). These are support groups for people living with lymphoma, one of the forms of blood cancer. This guide covers the different forms of lymphoma, possible treatments, and nutritional advice, but also tells the stories of (former) patients and caregivers. You can find the guide in French and in Dutch here:
In collaboration with patient associations CMP-Vlaanderen vzw, Mymu vzw Wallonia-Brussels, hematologists and onco-coaches we developed for people with multiple myeloma the "Living with Multiple Myeloma" guide. This unique guide is specifically designed to help patients and their loved ones understand multiple myeloma from the patient's perspective and needs. Through this guide, we offer people information about the origins of this disease and provide healthy lifestyle tips. In addition, healthcare providers can use this guide to better understand the needs of patients with multiple myeloma, physically and emotionally. You can access the guide in French and in Dutch here:
Waldenström disease is also a rare form of blood cancer. In Belgium, about 75 new diagnoses are diagnosed every year.  Therefore, we have worked together with the patient organization CMP-Vlaanderen vzw to create the guide "Living with Waldenström" for patients and their loved ones. This guide provides information about the disease and contains testimonies and experiences of fellow patients. Topics such as aftercare, practical tips and frequently asked questions raised by the disease are also answered here. You can find the guide in French and in Dutch here:
For the creation of these patient guides, we also collaborate with the Belgian Hematology Society (BHS), to ensure we meet the needs of patients and health care professionals in hematology.