EDMONTON -- A breakthrough in the fight against blood cancers by a team of University of Alberta researchers.

After seven years of work, the team of cell biology researchers developed a new drug called PCLX-001.

Researchers say it drastically reduces side effects of chemotherapy.

“That means there is hope, there is a new therapy on the way, and pending successful clinical trials in humans, this drug could be available between 2 to 4 years,” said Dr. Luc Berthiaume, a cell biology professor at the U of A.

“It is a drug that is specifically aimed at killing the cancer cells and sparing the normal cells and that is a major holy grail in the world of cancer therapy.”

Clinical trials in Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver will begin in January on patients suffering from b cell lymphoma and leukemia.

Blood cancers make up nine per cent of Canadian cancer diagnoses.

The drug was developed in part thanks to cancer fundraising events like the World’s Longest Baseball Game.