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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...

Advancing cancer care with new technology

The BC Cancer Agency is recognized as one of the world’s leading cancer care and research centres. We’ve achieved this in large part by being able to attract some of the best talent. But having the brightest minds will only take you so far if you don’t give them the latest tools and equipment. That’s why in our quest for new knowledge, the BC Cancer Foundation is investing in new technology through two of our upcoming events— Inspiration Gala and Hope Couture —that will keep B.C. at the forefront of cancer research and care. New technology also means people can get their treatment as close to...

Conquering cancer on two wheels

In my previous post I mentioned the BC Cancer Agency’s OVCARE team and the great work they’ve done to position themselves as one of the world’s leading ovarian cancer research teams. They’re not only conquering cancer in the lab, but they’re also doing it on two wheels. With its many supporters, OVCARE has participated every year in The Ride to Conquer Cancer, and is one of the top fundraising teams. Over the past seven years they have raised more than $780,000, and are on track to reach an amazing $1 million dollars with this year’s event. Collectively, the Ride has raised more than $70...

Investing in people's lives

Philanthropy and research is truly a partnership. We can have a lab full of talented and passionate researchers, but if we don’t have the dollars to fund the research, then the leading-edge discoveries that the BC Cancer Agency has become renowned for wouldn’t happen. There are lots of examples, but I will highlight one—OVCARE—BC’s Ovarian Cancer Research Program. Traditionally, ovarian cancer had been poorly funded and under researched, and outcomes were generally poor for a significant number of women. Then the idea for OVCARE was created by Drs. David Huntsman, Dianne Miller and Blake...

It's about the people for foundation president

I am very pleased to be this month’s guest blogger. I joined the BC Cancer Foundation as its new President and CEO in mid-April and since then I have been so inspired by the many incredible donors who support the BC Cancer Agency’s brilliant and compassionate team of physicians and scientists. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a bit about me. I grew up in New Jersey – yes, I am American (and now also Canadian) – and moved to Vancouver from Boston in 2008 with my husband and two children. Our decision to move west and emigrate was a very purposeful decision for both professional and...

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