KELOWNA, B.C. – The BC Cancer Foundation’s 2014 Discovery Luncheon—Kelowna raised an amazing $100,000 to support clinical trials research at the BC Cancer Agency Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Centre for the Southern Interior.
The fourth annual Discovery Luncheon celebrated the importance of discovery research happening each year in Kelowna. The generosity of Tom Budd, with the Thomas Alan Budd Foundation, in donating $20,000 was matched by guests at the sold-out event ensuring local patients will benefit from advancements in cancer research and care from progress made through clinical trials taking place at the BC Cancer Agency Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Centre for the Southern Interior.
“The support received from donors from across the Southern Interior ensures that clinical research will continue to improve the standard of care for patients here and across the province,” said Douglas Nelson, President & CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation.
A strong clinical trials program is fundamental to progress in cancer research and care. Clinical trials provide new hope for patients by translating results from the lab or clinic into more effective treatment options.
“Today’s established therapies are a result of successful clinical trials of the recent past,” said Dr. Juanita Crook, Radiation Oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Centre for the Southern Interior. “When multiple standard options of treatment are available and suitable for an individual, clinical trials research allows us to find out if one would offer an advantage in tolerance or efficacy.”
Dr. Randall Fairey, cancer survivor and retired BC Cancer Agency clinician, spoke at the event. He was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer in June 2013. His diagnosis came at a time when a clinical trial for high dose rate brachytherapy, an alternate form of radiotherapy with potentially fewer side effects, was being offered at the BC Cancer Agency.
“I have always believed that the BC Cancer Foundation’s support for the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre is unparalleled,” said Dr. Fairey. ”The reality is cancer can happen to anyone. A lifetime of oncology practice, teaching and research did not make me immune to cancer.”
Clinical trials are integral tools for improving our understanding of cancer and testing the effectiveness and safety of new drugs in order to raise the standard of cancer care. Even for cancers with many available treatment options, researchers and clinicians continue to strive for improvement: for therapies that will be more effective, applicable to a larger number of patients, or have fewer side effects.
Over the last three years, the Discovery Luncheon has raised over $190,000 for rapid enhancements in cancer research and care, including the breast brachytherapy, HDR brachytherapy for prostate cancer and PREDICT research projects. Funds raised this year ensure local patients benefit from continued advancements, specifically through progress made from clinical trials taking place in Kelowna.
Special thanks to event sponsors BMO Bank of Montreal, Sentes Automotive Group and Doak Shirreff LLP Lawyers.
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BC Cancer Foundation
The BC Cancer Foundation is the bridge that connects philanthropic support and research breakthroughs in cancer knowledge. As the fundraising partner of the BC Cancer Agency and the largest charitable funder of cancer research in this province, we enable donors to make contributions to leading-edge research that has a direct impact on improvements to cancer care for patients in British Columbia. We fund with the goal of finding solutions.
The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia by working with community partners to deliver a range of oncology services, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care. For more information, visit www.bccancer.ca.