VANCOUVER, B.C. – This year more than 115,000 donors from across the province partnered with the BC Cancer Foundation to raise $36.3 million for innovative research and enhancements to patient care at the BC Cancer Agency. The announcement was made at the Foundation’s Annual General Meeting in late June. The BC Cancer Foundation continues to be the largest funder of cancer research in B.C.

“Cancer research depends on philanthropic support from generous individuals,” said Jess Ketchum, Chair of the BC Cancer Foundation Board of Directors. “We are proud to report we had an increase in the number of donors supporting the Foundation.  It is through the generosity of these individuals who enable clinicians and researchers to accelerate breakthrough discoveries that are making a difference in the lives of cancer patients throughout our province.”

The BC Cancer Foundation’s ongoing commitment to donors was reaffirmed this year when the organization received full accreditation under Imagine Canada’s National Standards Program for nonprofit organizations based on the strength of the Foundation’s transparency and accountability, governance processes and fundraising excellence.

Research provides the best evidence to inform how care and treatment are delivered. Funds raised this year are already supporting a wide spectrum of research initiatives that hold the most promise to dramatically improve early detection, diagnosis and treatment for all cancers.

After a decade of research, cancer vaccines are truly on the horizon, thanks to donor support. BC Cancer Agency scientists can now effectively demonstrate how the immune system actively responds to mutations in ovarian cancer. In turn, they have developed a rapid new method to design personalized vaccines that will boost the immune response to cancer and today, they are working hard to launch immunotherapy clinical trials within the next two years.

Donor funding has aided researchers and clinicians to better understand lymphoid cancer, the fourth most frequent cancer in men and women. This year, BC Cancer Agency’s Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, one of the leading lymphoma genomics centres in the world, will be investigating why some patients’ cancers behave more aggressively than others, with the ultimate goal to find targeted treatment options for those patients who primary therapy fails. 

For more on the innovative research supported by the BC Cancer Foundation, visit bccancerfoundation.com.

The BC Cancer Foundation’s annual board elections welcomed Greg D’Avignon as incoming Board Chair, as well as David Zacks and Michael Heskin as new directors to the board. Directors continuing on this year include: Jess Ketchum, Past Chair, Robert Conconi, Dr. Sam Abraham, John Auston, Randy Bartsch, Dr. Max Coppes, Carl Roy, Monika Deol, Doug Holtby, Kevin Irvine, Michael Kennedy, Dean Kirkham, Joanne McLeod, Derrold Norgaard, Anna Nyarady, Andrea Shaw, Andrew Sweeney, Randy Smallwood, Andrew Sweeney, Kirsten Tisdale, Shane Worman, and Jane Young.

The BC Cancer Foundation also thanks Gordon Diamond for his generous contributions to the BC Cancer Foundation in his time on the board for the past nine years.

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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. Visit www.bccancerfoundation.com to make a donation or to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer.

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

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Monica Bisal, Communications Specialist
BC Cancer Foundation
t. 604.707.5934
e. monica.bisal@bccancer.bc.ca