Contact UsInvestorsCareersMediaScienceContact Us

Pfizer invests $4.9M in McMaster University study to help improve care for multiple myeloma patients in Canada


Leveraging remote monitoring technology, the study aims to improve patient care and reduce pressure on Canada’s healthcare systems.

KIRKLAND, QC, June 3, 2024 – Today, Pfizer is proud to announce that it is supporting a McMaster University-led study, through the Ontario Clinical Oncology Group, that aims to improve care for Canadians living with multiple myeloma. The EMBRACE study, which is being led by Dr. Hira Mian, Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology at McMaster University and a hematologic oncologist at Hamilton Health Sciences, will study how adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) can safely receive treatment and care at home, with the aim to improve patient care and reduce pressure on Canada’s health systems.

"Multiple Myeloma is a blood cancer which can cause significant morbidity and mortality. Certain therapies – especially newer modalities like bispecific antibodies – require patients to be admitted to hospital to receive treatment, at least for the first few days,” explains Dr. Mian. “Our study will evaluate whether treatment can be delivered safely to patients at home, using remote patient monitoring as one of the measures. The technology available today allows us to keep a close watch on patients’ vitals from a distance. Remote monitoring will help reduce the time patients spend travelling to treatment appointments and time in hospital, which can help improve their quality of life. This will also help reduce overall hospital appointments for patients and strain on the healthcare system. Furthermore, because multiple myeloma patients are particularly susceptible to infection, the study will also examine how increasing the treatment dosing interval may help decrease the risk of infections.”

EMBRACE will launch in July 2024 at five sites across Canada. The site investigators include: Dr. Arleigh McCurdy at the Ottawa Hospital, Dr. Irwindeep Sandhu at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, Dr. Nizar Bahlis at the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute in Calgary, Dr. Christopher Venner at BC Cancer Vancouver and Dr. Hira Mian at Hamilton Health Sciences. As part of the study protocol, correlative laboratory studies will also take place. These will be performed in Calgary by Dr. Bahlis, the co-investigator of EMBRACE.

Multiple myeloma is the second-most common type of blood cancer, with an estimated 11 Canadians being diagnosed with myeloma every day.[i] It is estimated that in 2023, 3,900 Canadians were diagnosed with multiple myeloma and 1,700 Canadians died from the disease.[ii]

“Multiple myeloma is a disease of high unmet need as patients often relapse and become refractory to successive and limited therapies.” said Andrew Brown, Medical Affairs Lead, Oncology at Pfizer Canada. “We are committed to supporting patients and the multiple myeloma community affected by this difficult disease, which is why we are proud to be partnering with McMaster University, as well as Dr. Mian, Dr. Bahlis and all of the site investigators, to advance research and our understanding in this space.”

“On behalf of the Government of Ontario, we congratulate Pfizer on their new partnership with McMaster University,” said Vic Fedeli, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Ontario’s life sciences sector and R&D ecosystem continue to produce the cutting-edge solutions and discoveries that improve and save lives. We thank Pfizer, McMaster and the talented team behind the EMBRACE study for their work to improve the lives of those living with multiple myeloma and for representing the best of Ontario’s talent and innovation to the world.”

About Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is associated with the abnormal behavior and uncontrolled growth of the plasma cells. In people with multiple myeloma, abnormal plasma cells crowd out other types of blood cells. As a result, a person can become anemic, bleed easily and have increased susceptibility to infection.[iii] Other symptoms of multiple myeloma may include frequent infection; fatigue or shortness of breath; numbness or weakness; low platelet, red or white blood cell counts; or bone problems including pain, weakness or fractures.[iv],[v]

While disease trajectory for myeloma varies for each person, relapses are nearly inevitable, and many people become resistant to treatments – these people have what is referred to as relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma.[vi]  

There is no cure for multiple myeloma and most patients living with multiple myeloma will receive four or more lines of therapy due to relapse.[vii]

About Pfizer Canada
Pfizer Canada ULC is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., one of the world's leading biopharmaceutical companies. At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that help extend and improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety, and value in the discovery, development, and manufacture of health care products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work to advance wellness, prevention, treatments, and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit or you can follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, X, Instagram or YouTube.

For more information:
Corporate Affairs Canada
1-866-9Pfizer (1 866 973-4937)
[email protected]

[i] Myeloma Canada. Multiple Myeloma Statistics: Incidence and Prevalence. Accessed November 2023 at
[ii] Canadian Cancer Society. Multiple Myeloma Statistics: Incidence and Mortality. Accessed December 2023 at
[iii] Canadian Cancer Society. The plasma cells. Accessed November 2023 at
[iv] MD Anderson Cancer Center: Multiple Myeloma. Accessed December 2023 at
[v] Mayo Clinic. Multiple Myeloma Overview. Accessed December 2023 at
[vi] Dimopoulos MA, Richardson P, Lonial S. Treatment options for patients with heavily pretreated relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2022;22(7):460-473. doi:10.1016/j.clml.2022.01.011
[vii] Mikhael, J, Ismaila N, Cheung M, et al. Treatment of multiple myeloma: ASCO and CCO joint clinical practice guideline. J Clin Oncol. 37:1228-1263.

About UsOur ProductsHelping Communities Our Voice Suppliers Distribution ChannelPfizer WorldwideMedia CentreTerms Of Use Careers Healthcare ProfessionalsContact UsPrivacy PolicyCopyright © Pfizer Canada 2022 All rights reserved. The information is intended only for residents of Canada. ® Pfizer Inc, used under license