Dr. Sam Aparicio
Senior Scientist, BC Cancer Agency Research Centre

Blog Posts by Dr. Sam Aparicio

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 blog posts

Breast cancer and other women’s cancers

For my last post, I want to talk about some of the work we’re doing in collaboration with the BC Cancer Agency’s ovarian cancer research program, OvCaRe . Back in 1896, a Scotsman named George Beatson became the first doctor to treat breast cancer patients by removing their ovaries. This was a very crude treatment, especially considering the state of surgical techniques at the time, but it actually worked for some patients. We now know that this is because some breast tumours are fueled by female hormones — like estrogen — that are made in the ovaries. Of course, we’ve come a long way since...

My lab’s research focus

I promised to tell you about some of the projects we’re working on at the moment and how they fit into our overall goal of getting the best possible breast cancer treatments to the right patients at the right time. We have so many different projects on the go. It’s impossible to cover everything, but I hope I can explain the big picture of how all the different components connect to each other and to our overarching goal. There are many steps involved in developing a new drug and deciding which patients will benefit the most from it. The very first is to identify what we call “druggable...

What is Life?

In memory of Anita Cochrane. What is life? Almost 70 years ago, Nobel prize-winning physicist Erwin Schrodinger asked that question in an essay. His short book provoked a large number of physicists and chemists to move into the field of biology, thus sparking the revolution in science that came from the discovery of the genetic code. In 1953, a profound moment of discovery in human history occurred when we learned how the information for life is encoded — in the sequence of DNA chains inside the cells that make up all living organisms. We know that cancer starts at the cellular level —...

What does a breast cancer researcher do?

As you might imagine, leading the BC Cancer Agency’s breast cancer research program keeps me very busy! And I’m not the only one: my lab, located in the BC Cancer Agency’s Research Centre, is full of students, postdoctoral researchers and technicians working away on their research projects. In the office areas nearby, teams of programmers and statisticians are busy analyzing the massive amounts of data we produce every day. On a typical day, I’ll meet with several members of my team, as well as other principal investigators from the BC Cancer Agency, to discuss our current research. I’ll also...