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Introducing October Guest Blogger: Dr. Stephen Lam

I am delighted to introduce Dr. Stephen Lam as this month’s guest blogger. Dr. Lam is the chair of the Provincial Lung Tumour Group, and directs the MDS-Rix Early Lung Cancer Detection and Translational Research Program at the BC Cancer Agency. His research interest is in early detection, chemoprevention and endoscopic therapy of lung cancer. He has received numerous awards for his pioneering contributions to the field of early lung cancer diagnosis, including the Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of British Columbia and the Joseph Cullen Award for life-time scientific...

Building a Better Patient Experience

As most people know the population in the Fraser Health region, in particular Surrey, is steadily growing. This has provided some wonderful opportunities for residents, but also presents a number of significant challenges for health care delivery in the region. This is not a new problem, indeed the rapid growth of the population and the increasing cancer care needs led to the opening of the Abbotsford Centre eight years ago, along with the new Abbotsford Regional Hospital. Up until that point, people in Abbotsford and the surrounding area needed to travel to Surrey to receive their care at...

It takes a team to deliver great care

I recently accepted the role of Medical Director at the BC Cancer Agency’s Fraser Valley Centre. There are six such Centres across the province, and each now has a Medical Director that works closely with an Operations Director to oversee cancer care. Cancer care is complex and each Centre has many affiliated health care professionals working together—medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pain and symptom management physicians, gynecologic surgical oncologists, dermatologists, oral oncologists (dentists), nurses, pharmacists, counsellors and psychiatrists, nutritionists, clerks,...

Inspired by cancer care

I am the Medical Director at the BC Cancer Agency’s Fraser Valley Centre. We are very excited at the Centre to be working with the BC Cancer Foundation to fundraise for the expansion of our chemotherapy unit. Surrey, and surrounding communities, make up one of the fastest growing regions in Canada, and to be able to serve the cancer patients in our region we need to expand into a larger space. This will allow us to treat more patients. In upcoming posts I will provide more details about the expansion, and why it is needed. I started working as a Medical Oncologist at the Fraser Valley Centre...

Introducing September Guest Blogger: Dr. Gary Pansegrau

I am delighted to introduce Dr. Gary Pansegrau, as this month’s guest blogger. Dr. Pansegrau is the Regional Leader, Medical Oncology, at the BC Cancer Agency Fraser Valley Centre. Follow along as he shares more about his work, primarily focused on breast cancer, and why the planned expansion of the Fraser Valley Centre will be good news for patients. To support this exciting expansion and renovation project of the Fraser Valley Centre, the BC Cancer Foundation is embarking on a $1 million fundraising initiative. The expansion will boost the Centre’s capacity, allowing it to meet the...

The future of cancer care looks bright

Over the past few weeks I have tried to provide some insight into the exciting immunotherapy research going on at the Deeley Research Centre, as well as the fundraising progress of the Cell Cyclists . For my final post, I thought that I would provide some insight into the future of immunotherapy at the Deeley Research Centre. Currently, the major focus in cancer care and research is how to develop better, targeted treatments that can improve patient survival rates. You can think of cancer as a cluster of different but related cells that have evolved over time. This evolution and diversity of...

Cycling for Research

August seems to be flying by! As you may have heard, the BC Cancer Agency’s Deeley Research Centre is initiating an immunotherapy clinical trial next year. This type of therapy involves isolating tumour-specific white blood cells called T cells from a patient’s own tumour. These T cells are then expanded into the billions and then infused back into the patient where they can identify and eliminate their cancer. This type of therapy is called “adoptive T cell therapy”, and will initially focus on ovarian and cervical cancers. As I previously mentioned, myself and a group of researchers from...

A relationship with cancer cells

Hello again! As I mentioned last week, I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Deeley Research Centre with Dr. Julian Lum. I thought I’d share a bit about the research that I do with you this week. As many of you may be aware, researchers at the Deeley Research Centre are interested in a powerful new kind of treatment for cancer called immunotherapy. While immunotherapy has seen unprecedented success in different cancer types, there is still room for improvement. The need for a greater understanding of immunotherapy and the necessity for improving current therapies are what motivate me. It might...

Finding purpose in research

I am a postdoctoral research fellow at the Deeley Research Centre located in Victoria, BC, and I am honored to be the guest blogger this month. I grew up on the Island, in Nanaimo, but decided to cross the pond to complete my undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia. By that time I had lost several family members to cancer and felt the need to contribute to cancer research in the province. While volunteering at the BC Cancer Research Centre in Vancouver in 2007, I realized that research was the field for me. For the next five years I studied how a cell survival process...

Introducing August Guest Blogger: Dr. Lindsay DeVorkin

I am delighted to introduce Dr. Lindsay DeVorkin, as this month’s guest blogger. Lindsay is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the BC Cancer Agency’s Deeley Research Centre, in Victoria. Building on her graduate studies work in molecular biology and biochemistry, she is now investigating the role of autophagy in the tumour microenvironment, and how it can be modulated to enhance the immune response against cancer. Autophagy allows the orderly degradation and recycling of cellular components. Over the next month, Lindsay will share more about her innovative research and also how she is...

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