“Each year, I am more inspired by you, our passionate donors who are investing in research and bringing more hope to patients and their families in our province. This includes Claudia Pavao, featured on our cover, whose life was saved at BC Cancer and today will be here to watch her children grow up. With your support, British Columbians who face cancer continue to receive world-class care closer to home. It is an absolute privilege and pleasure to be at the helm of this organization and I feel inspired that together, BC CAN break down cancer.”
Sarah Roth, president and CEO, BC Cancer Foundation
“As I reflect on my time as chair of the Foundation Board of Directors, I am filled with pride for the incredible work being done at BC Cancer, our fantastic board and most of all, you, our donors. We share a passion to propel the world-leading clinicians and scientists at BC Cancer forward on our quest to break down cancer. The Board is motivated by our 90,000 donors and most importantly, by the countless lives you have helped save, and improve.”
Do World-Leading Research
PRESTIGIOUS WIN WILL CHANGE OUTCOMES FOR PATIENTS FACING LYMPHOID CANCER RELAPSE
Imagine getting the all-clear that your cancer is gone, and then being besieged by fear of recurrence.
Every year in Canada, more than 4,000 patients with lymphoma will relapse and their chances of survival drop drastically. A team led by Drs. Christian Steidl, Marco Marra and David Scott seeks to decipher the genome biology of relapsed lymphoid cancers to improve patient management and outcomes. "The exciting genomics research of this exceptional team will significantly improve the way we diagnose and treat patients with lymphoid cancers, in B.C. and worldwide,” says Dr. François Bénard, vice president, research, BC Cancer. In January, the research team received $11.9 million in funding for an innovative precision health project that has the potential to significantly change outcomes for patients facing a relapse of lymphoid cancer.
The Foundation is currently raising $1.9 million toward this project as a match.
DONORS FUEL PAN-CANADIAN PANCREATIC CANCER STUDY
For many years it's been hopeless from a patient perspective, and we are going to help shift this.—Dr. Daniel Renouf, medical oncologist, BC Cancer, and co-director of Pancreas Centre BC
Hope is on the horizon for patients facing a deadly form of cancer. In March, a panCanadian pancreatic cancer research initiative called EPPIC— Enhanced Pancreatic Cancer Profiling for Individualized Care—was launched. It aims to sequence metastatic pancreatic tumours of 400 patients in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. This will improve understanding of pancreatic cancer biology to individualize treatment strategies and develop new treatment options. BC Cancer Foundation donors established the roots of this project, as Dr. Daniel Renouf’s program is generously supported through our annual Glotman·Simpson Cypress Challenge cycling event, raising more than $410,000 toward the cause in August.
“My push is to keep the support coming for the research, and to bring hope to other pancreatic cancer patients. This is a disease that needs more hope,” says Susan Stewart, Cypress Challenge supporter.
CANCER PREVENTION GETS A BIG BOOST
Hereditary cancers account for 10% of all cancer cases and span not just a few but all cancer types. BC Cancer is taking a giant stride forward to treat and prevent cancer through enhanced genetic testing.
In November, supporters came together at the Inspiration Gala, raising $2.61 million in support of BC Cancer’s Hereditary Cancer Program, to uncover better methods to diagnose and treat high-risk patients and families.
Keynote speaker Michael Izen shared, “I have the BRCA2 genetic mutation—luckily, just when I needed it, a new drug became available that targets my mutation. It gave me a whole year I wasn’t sure I would get.”
This year he turned 51 and believes that how we approach hereditary cancers today will create a new legacy of treatments tomorrow.
Christian Chan, trustee of the Chan Family Foundation who supported the Hereditary Cancer Program, says, “My family and I are committed to finding quicker intervention and treatment for all patients, and believe that this program will save lives and help prevent cancer in families.”
BC CANCER AIMS TO CUT OVARIAN CANCER IN HALF
Funds raised will allow us to apply what we’ve learned about ovarian cancer to prevent it from happening in the first place.—DR. DAVID HUNTSMAN, DIRECTOR OF OVCARE, BC CANCER
The ovarian cancer research (OVCARE) team at BC Cancer is on a mission to change the story and spare the lives of beloved wives, grandmothers, mothers, sisters and daughters in our province.
With $600,000 raised at Hope Couture in September, BC Cancer researchers are embarking on a new project to catch ovarian cancer sooner and prevent it from ever occurring. Guest of honour Rob Collins announced a $200,000 donation in memory of his late wife Janet Cottrelle.
PERSONALIZE CANCER TREATMENT FOR EVERY PATIENT
CULINARY COMMUNITY LENDS SUPPORT TO BRAIN CANCER RESEARCH
My mother, Eleni Skalbania, was very passionate about cancer research and the quest to find a cure, and today, we continue to honour her legacy.—ELPIE MARINAKIS JACKSON
Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and aggressive type of brain tumour. Dr. Cathie Garnis is seeking to develop a biodegradable implant that will attract cancer cells and eradicate them with chemotherapy.
In April, Wedgewood Cooks for Cancer: Frank Giustra Cooks brought together culinary ingenuity and philanthropy at Vancouver’s Wedgewood Hotel & Spa to raise over $250,000 for this cutting-edge project.
NEW TREATMENT DISCOVERED FOR HODGKIN’S LYMPHOMA
Results from an international clinical trial led by BC Cancer’s Dr. Joseph Connors reveal a promising new treatment combination for patients with advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a disease which may otherwise be resistant to current chemotherapy.
“Our study outcome is positive with the new regimen curing more patients than the old standard regimen,” says Dr. Connors, who was recognized for a fourth time as one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds this year, and has been instrumental in elevating BC Cancer as a world leader in lymphoma research and care.
DONORS BRING WORLD-CLASS DIAGNOSTICS TO VANCOUVER ISLAND
The most precise and detailed cancer diagnostic tool, a
PET/CT scanner, is on its way to BC Cancer – Victoria. This is made possible by more than 3,500 donors who helped to reach our $5 million goal, including a generous gift of $2 million from Island resident, Gordon Heys.
I hope my gift helps in the effort to put an end to cancer.- GORDON HEYS, NANAIMO-BASED BUSINESSMAN
BMO FINANCIAL GROUP MATCH CAMPAIGN WILL IMPROVE CARE
“My brother has young twin boys who he had to bring with him when he travelled to Vancouver for his tests. Thankfully his wife was able to travel as well,” says Kerry Patterson. “But most families may not have that same opportunity or may find it extremely difficult.”
BMO Financial Group matched $500,000 in donations from thousands of donors across the province in support of the purchase of two PET/CT scanners for BC Cancer – Kelowna and Victoria. The goal: to improve care and bring critical diagnostic tests closer to home for patients in the Interior and on Vancouver Island. Currently, BC Cancer – Kelowna has reached $3.5 million toward its $5 million goal.
BREAK DOWN CANCER
DONORS PROPEL CRITICAL EXPANSION TO BC CANCER – SURREY
“The Fraser Valley is rapidly growing and it’s crucial to keep up with demand,” says Dr. Gary Pansegrau. “With the expansion of our centre, including additional chemotherapy capacity and a new, state-of-the-art pharmacy, comes the ability to deliver exceptional care to our patients and their families, and for this we are both excited and grateful.”
Thanks to $1 million in donor support, BC Cancer – Surrey completed an expanded new chemotherapy unit and ambulatory care area.
CLINICAL TRIALS: POWER AND PROGRESS
This year, the clinical research work of Dr. Bernie Eigl, medical oncolgoist, BC Cancer saw many exciting advancements. Incredibly, some patients who were given only years to live became cancer-free after taking part in clinical trials, underscoring the life-saving nature of clinical research and how it continues to move medicine forward and improve outcomes for patients across the province.
Pianist Libby Yu held a Recital for Hope, raising more than $16,000 for testicular cancer research in honour of her late husband, Cliff. Dr. Bernie Eigl and team were instrumental in providing Cliff with four bonus years to spend with his family.
Our family is indebted to the wise, meticulous and compassionate care of the oncologists, specialists and nurses at BC Cancer.—LIBBY YU
PROVIDE WORLD-CLASS SUPPORTIVE CARE
DONORS TAKE PATIENT COMFORT TO THE NEXT LEVEL IN THE NORTH
The comfort fund at BC Cancer – Prince George (Centre for the North) supports patients and families who face health and financial challenges. Donors provide funds to assist with the purchase of necessities such as gas and groceries. These donations go a long way in lessening the burden of illness.
“What comes along with a cancer diagnosis are a lot of other challenges. The counselling support at BC Cancer has been outstanding, and I’ve received gift cards to help with groceries and gas that have just made my day, and takes the stress away,” says patient Lori McDonald.
A UNIQUE, YOUNG GROUP IN NEED OF COMPASSIONATE CARE
Adolescents and young adults with cancer face unique challenges during and after treatment.
Though Kristian Domingo received compassionate care at BC Cancer, others in his age group often require further resources and attention that will not only impact their care, but their health in the future.
With generous donor support, a province-wide program is in sight with specific resources to help these patients not only survive, but thrive.
Though cancer may have ended his life, Kristian never let it stop him from living. If there was anyone who could accept challenges, it was him. But no one, particularly a child or young adult, should have to do it alone.—TERESA DOMINGO, MOTHER OF KRISTIAN DOMINGO, WHO PASSED AWAY IN 2016
RIDE TO CONQUER CANCER
NEW HOPE FOR MEN WITH PROSTATE CANCER
Each year, the Ride to Conquer Cancer raises critical funds that allow us to continue life-saving research that is changing outcomes for prostate cancer patients.–DR. KIM CHI, MEDICAL ONCOLOGIST AND REGIONAL MEDICAL DIRECTOR, BC CANCER
In August of 2017, more than $8.3 million was raised by nearly 2,000 riders, participating in the 9th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer, presented by Wheaton Precious Metals.
Among the more than 47 world-leading projects supported by the Ride is ProTracer, a study to assess the potential of radioactive particles to deliver a more accurate and potent dose of treatment for prostate and other common cancers.
THOUSANDS TO BENEFIT FROM BREAST CANCER STUDY
Through B-PRECISE, we will answer some of breast cancer’s biggest questions and provide real solutions to the women of British Columbia.—DR. SAMUEL APARICIO, DISTINGUISHED SCIENTIST, NAN AND LORRAINE ROBERTSON CHAIR UBC/BC CANCER
Thanks to Ride funds, as of 2017, all breast cancer patients treated at the BC Cancer are invited to participate in B-PRECISE, a new study to track the evolution of their cancer over time.
Under the leadership of Drs. Sam Aparicio, Karen Gelmon and Stephen Chia, experts collect tumour tissue from every breast cancer patient at the time of diagnosis to conduct DNA sequencing.
The aim is to match genomic mutations in the tumours with known or new combinations of therapies, test and develop tailor-made cancer drugs targeted for each unique cancer and avoid treatment resistance. With this project comes the hope that fewer families will face the devastating loss of a loved one in the future.
BECAUSE OF YOU
THANKS TO YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT, BC CAN
Your generosity allows us to push the envelope in genetic testing, moving us one step closer to decoding cancer.—Dr. Cheng-Han Lee, Medical director, pathology, BC Cancer