Dr. Bernie Eigl
Medical Oncologist, Provincial Director – Systemic Therapy Clinical Trials

Dr. Bernie Eigl is a medical oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency. Dr. Eigl graduated from McMaster University and completed his oncology training and genitourinary fellowship at the BC Cancer Agency before moving to Calgary, where he served as Head of the Genitourinary Tumour Research Group, Medical Director of the Clinical Trials Unit and Director of the Alberta Clinical Cancer Research Unit. Currently the Provincial Director of Systemic Therapy Clinical Trials, Dr. Eigl works to increase the impact and activity of clinical trials for cancer patients in B.C. Dr. Eigl’s research interests include bladder and prostate cancers and he is presently leading several clinical trials investigating novel therapies for these types of cancer. In the clinic, he sees patients with genitourinary cancers including prostate, bladder, kidney and testicular cancer.

You can read Dr. Eigl’s blog posts here

Blog Posts by Dr. Bernie Eigl

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 blog posts

Reflecting on the Pace of Cancer Discovery

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of cancer, “The Emperor of All Maladies,” Siddhartha Mukherjee quotes the Red Queen from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass” to describe perfectly how clinical cancer research must move: “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” I find myself reflecting on this quote very often. Cancer cells arise from us – they evolve and become resistant in response to every treatment that we have devised so far. So we keep working fastidiously to either overcome this resistance or to find a new approach that might eliminate the cancer...

B.C. Clinical Trials: A Unique Approach Achieves Results

Yesterday started off well but ended poorly. I saw Chris for his regular visit – he’d just returned from a vacation with his family and it was wonderful to see the pictures. He’d also just had another CT scan which showed further shrinkage of his cancer, so we were all pretty happy. At the end of my clinic I saw another young man who was not faring nearly as well, and who was now facing the reality that there simply are no good options left to knock his cancer down. Over my career, I’ve realized that while the thrill of success keeps me going, I also know that we will always have...

Finding New Hope Through Clinical Trials

As a medical oncologist, I specialize in treating about five cancer types, and the main focus of my current research is in bladder cancer. I’d like to describe a couple of the clinical trials we have been involved in lately. The first is a study comparing new immunotherapy treatments to our current standard of chemotherapy. Under normal circumstances our body’s immune system is constantly surveilling our cells and getting rid of damaged or mutated cells before they can cause trouble or become cancers. Therefore, when cancers grow in our bodies they must figure out a way to “hide” from the...

Achieving Great Things in B.C., Thanks to Donors

It’s an honour and privilege to be invited back as a BC Cancer Foundation guest blogger. It is hard to believe that it has already been four years since my first foray into blogging. Much has changed since then: I can finally say that I am a Vancouverite, as my family and I have settled into our new home; I have established a busy practice with a focus on bladder cancer; and some of the research projects I am involved in are developing well (more on that later). A few important things have also stayed the same (or improved). Under combined new leadership, both the BC Cancer Foundation and the...

Clinical Trials: An Inspiring Story

I received some distressing news yesterday. One of my friends, I’ll call him “B”, is in hospital. From what I was told, he’s had a heart attack and is in very serious condition. My thoughts are with B and his loving wife. This worrying news made me reflect back on my relationship with B. We’ve known each other for over six years, he was a patient of mine back in Calgary. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer more than 15 years ago and had been told his disease was “incurable” long before I met him. His cancer (like most) responded and then progressed with the usual lines of treatment (mainly...

Clinical Trials: Benefits for the Whole Population

Imagine this: You’ve been diagnosed with cancer, but it is treatable. There are two cancer hospitals you could go to for care. Both have access to all the same treatments. Both have reputable staff and modern facilities. In short, both hospitals look the same to a casual observer. But there is a difference … if you go to one of these two hospitals, you have an 82% higher risk of death. What accounts for this difference? The hospital with better outcomes participates in clinical trials . . . that’s it. If you live in Germany and happen to have ovarian cancer, this is a true story[1]. In a...

What is a Clinical Trial?

As I prepare to write this second entry into the blog, I’ve come to the realization that I could write pages and pages about clinical trials (it’s my passion, after all) and flood you with what I thought was important. Instead I’m going to write a little, and hope that it raises questions which I’ll be happy to try and answer. Let me know if I’m making sense here. What is a clinical trial? In simplest terms, a clinical trial is a way of trying to figure out if we can do something better than we are doing it now. That could take the form of a study to ask “Will treatment A make people live...

Hi and Happy New Year from Dr. Bernie Eigl

Hi and Happy New Year, My name is Bernie Eigl, and I’m really excited to be the blogger this month. I’d like to first thank the BC Cancer Foundation for providing this opportunity for some of the amazing people in our organization to talk about what they do and why, and how partners like the Foundation make this possible. The fact that you are here reading this, and I am here writing this, means we care! I hope in the next few weeks to share some insight into the world of cancer clinical trials, and why this kind of research is not just good science, but also the highest aspiration of patient...