Scientists re-write rulebook on breast cancer in landmark global study

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Scientists at the BC Cancer Agency and University of British Columbia have identified new breast cancer genes that could change the way the disease is diagnosed and form the basis of next-generation treatments. Researchers have reclassified the disease into 10 completely new categories based on the genetic fingerprint of a tumour. Many of these genes could offer much-needed...

Darwinian evolution in the deadliest of breast cancers

VANCOUVER, B.C. - BC Cancer Agency scientists have decoded the genetic make-up of triple negative breast cancer, which could lead to more effective treatment. The study, published online today in the international journal Nature, reveals that this form of cancer is not one distinct single entity, but an extremely complex and evolved tumour with an unprecedented range of mutations. Operating with...

Gene links rare and unrelated cancer

An important breakthrough in cancer research
Scientists at the BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, and the University of British Columbia are excited over a discovery made while studying rare tumour types. Dr. David Huntsman, genetic pathologist and director of the Ovarian Cancer Program of BC at the BC Cancer Agency and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and Dr. Gregg Morin, a lead scientist from the...

Clinical study provides hope for women with ovarian cancer

Study highlights: Phase 2 clinical trial evaluates the effectiveness of a drug, Olaparib, in the treatment of breast and ovarian cancer without BRCA gene mutations. The first study to demonstrate the effectiveness of the single agent PARP inhibitor in patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer without germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. Treatment with PARP inhibitor Olaparib represents a...

New genetic mutations found for non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Substantial gain in knowledge about the disease
Vancouver, July 27, 2011 – BC Cancer Agency scientists have identified a number of new genetic mutations involved in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). This massive cancer-sequencing study, published online in Nature will open a floodgate for researchers around the world to explore the significant number of newly discovered gene mutations and their role in the growth and development of lymphoma cells...

Found: an Achilles Heel of Blood Cancers

Dr. Keith Humphries and researchers from the BC Cancer Agency’s Terry Fox Lab pinpoint a previously unknown gene —MEISI— as a susceptible target for combating many forms of leukemia. Dr. Humphries discovered that MEIS1 allows normal cells in the bone marrow to transform into cancerous cells. When the researchers remove MEIS1 from leukemic cells in the lab, they are able to stop very aggressive...

Scientists target enzyme and halt spread of deadly breast cancer tumours with novel drugs

Researchers at the BC Cancer Agency discover a significant connection between the spread of breast cancer and a natural enzyme, called CA9. This discovery proves CA9 is a major target in tumour survival and growth in over 50 per cent of the deadliest forms of breast cancer and 16 per cent of all breast cancers – researchers can now halt the spread of these tumours through the use of novel drugs.

Researchers discover how cancer cheats immune system

BC Cancer Agency team finds clues in two lymphoma types
March 2, 2011, Vancouver, BC – BC Cancer Agency scientists have discovered that a single gene, CIITA, is implicated in almost 40 per cent of primary mediastinal B-cell lymphomas (a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma) and 15 per cent of all Hodgkin lymphoma cases. The groundbreaking discovery, published today in the international science and medical journal Nature, identifies for the first time a...

Scientists discover first breast cancer 'oncogene' for five years

Dr. Sam Aparicio, the Agency’s head of breast cancer research, co-led a UK-based study that discovered a new cancer-causing gene, ZNF703, that when overactive, triggers the development of a particularly aggressive type of breast cancer. Patients could be tested for ZNF703 over activity, so their treatment could be tailored accordingly, and larger studies could pave the way for developing...

B.C.’s cancer survival rates bode well in international comparison

December 21, 2010, Vancouver, BC – B.C. has encouraging survival outcomes in breast and ovarian cancer, taking top rank in a comprehensive data study that compares 12 jurisdictions from six nations with similar wealth and universal access to healthcare. In addition, B.C. colorectal and lung cancer patients have seen considerable increases in survival over the past decade. “Cancer survival is a...

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