Dr. Joseph M. Connors
Clinical Director, BC Cancer Agency Centre for Lymphoid Cancer

Blog Posts by Dr. Joseph M. Connors

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 blog posts

The Future of the BC Cancer Agency Centre for Lymphoid Cancer

Forty years after cancer research was made a priority focus, we must soberly reassess the overconfidence of that era’s expectations. Genuine progress has been made in prevention, early detection, surgical intervention and palliative management of advanced disease. However, we must acknowledge that metastatic cancer is still largely incurable and the toll of cancer around the world remains enormous. Within that sober assessment, however, the lymphoid cancers stand out. Almost all Hodgkin lymphoma patients and the majority of those with large cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma are cured. For the...

The CLC & the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre

By the early 2000s the BC Cancer Agency clinical care programs reflected all we had learned from careful collection of the clinical records of thousands of patients over more than two decades of clinical research. Pooling our extensive records and our rich collection of biopsy materials, we participated in the research efforts that were uncovering new insights into lymphoid cancer biology. The leaders in our program were invited to speak around the world at international conferences devoted to sharing scientific knowledge about lymphoid cancers. However, a final ingredient was missing...

The Centre for Lymphoid Cancer (CLC)

Throughout the 1980s and '90s, the BC Cancer Agency’s lymphoma research group grew steadily. Clinical staff in Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology and Pathology conducted research projects that helped define internationally recognized treatment policies for Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, lymphocytic leukemia and myeloma. We participated in and led national and international clinical trials and collaborated with clinical researchers across Canada and internationally. However, at home in Vancouver, Drs. Gascoyne, Horsman and I realized we needed to add more basic lymphoid cancer...

Dr Connors and the Centre for Lymphoid Cancer

Thanks for having me back. I’m happy to share an update with you about what’s been happening here at the BC Cancer Agency’s Centre for Lymphoid Cancer (CLC). But first, I’ll back up a few steps, and introduce myself for those who may be new to the CLC. By 1981 I had finished my training in Internal Medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and Medical Oncology at Stanford University Medical Center. As I considered different career paths Dr. Saul Rosenberg, my fellowship program director, urged me to consider a career in academic medicine with a focus on clinical research...

How projects like ANGELYC make a difference

As you know from my previous post, our research team at the BC Cancer Agency’s Centre for Lymphoid Cancer has undertaken the ANGELYC project (Analysis of Genomes to Eliminate Lymphoid Cancer). I thought you might be interested in an example of why this is important. It involves an odd coincidence in my practice. A few years ago, I saw both a husband and wife as patients within about six months of each other. What was odd was that both of them had developed the same type of follicular lymphoma. Even more odd, in each case the lymphoma first showed up as a lump under their arm. We know that...

ANGELYC Project

I’d like to tell you a bit about an exciting research project being undertaken right now at the Centre for Lymphoid Cancer . It’s called the ANGELYC Project, which stands for Analysis of Genomes to Eliminate Lymphoid Cancers. This is a comprehensive research study my Co-Director Dr. Randy Gascoyne and I are launching. The goal of the ANGELYC Project is to sequence and analyze the genomes of all lymphoid cancers. We hope to uncover new treatment targets and develop more effective treatments that will ultimately give lymphoid cancer patients a better chance at long-term survival. This project...

Introduction to Lymphoid cancers

Hello readers! My name is Dr. Joseph Connors, and I’m the clinical director at the BC Cancer Agency’s Centre for Lymphoid Cancer. I’ve worked at the BC Cancer Agency for nearly 30 years as a medical oncologist. I’d like to start by explaining a bit about lymphoid cancers and why I’ve chosen to dedicate my work to this area. Lymphoid cancers are cancers that start in the lymphocytes — a type of white blood cell. Lymphoid cancers can affect anyone, and incidence of these cancers is growing faster than any other kind in North America. Lymphoid cancers are now the fourth most common cancer in...