Researcher Spotlight: Abi Vijenthira, MD

University Health Network

Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer in Canada, and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) has the greatest incidence in older patients compared to all other lymphomas. Older patients are at risk for “frailty,” a multi-dimensional syndrome of loss of reserves that gives rise to vulnerability. Dr. Abi Vijenthira’s LRF research project will look at how frailty affects survival in older patients with DLBCL. The project will also look at whether frailty predicts for survival even when adjusted for other prognostic factors in lymphoma.

Dr. Vijenthira is a hematology/oncology senior resident (PGY-6) at the University Health Network. She received her MD at the University of Ottawa and her fellowship in hematology/oncology at the University of Toronto. She says that she is “passionate about clinical research specifically in the areas of improving the experience and outcomes of older patients with lymphoma, innovations in care delivery, and comparative effectiveness analysis in areas with varied clinical practice in lymphoma.” Her interest stems from the complexity of the disease, from both the patient and research perspectives.

Dr. Vijenthira notes that the LCRMP, “will help not only current research proposals, but also future ones, as I will be able to integrate what I have learned.”