Alberta-made clinical trial leaves patient cancer-free

Kerry McAthey - 04 February 2022

The Alberta Cancer Foundation marked World Cancer Day 2022 in part with the recognition of a life-saving, made-in-Alberta clinical trial.

Donato Bernardo was diagnosed with leukemia at age 27. He would eventually undergo chemotherapy, radiation, and a stem cell transplant over five years before doctors informed him he was out of treatment options in 2020.

Shortly after, Bernardo would become the second person in Alberta to participate in a clinical trial at the Cross Cancer Institute – and the first to go into remission following the treatment.


CAR T-Cell therapy involves removing a patient's T-Cells, genetically altering them, and replacing them.

“Essentially, we’re harnessing the patient’s own immune system to be able to fight against their cancer again,” oncologist Dr. Michael Chu said.

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