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Dr. Huntsman: "It's an absence of a story that we want to create"

I was truly inspired by the outpouring of support at Hope Couture this week, where over $600,000 was raised for research into the prevention of ovarian cancer, specifically for the Ovarian Cancer Research (OVCARE) program. The London-themed luncheon reminded me of the very humble beginnings of OVCARE. What is now a world-leading, multi-disciplinary and multi-institution research group began at a Chinese restaurant over a decade ago thanks to the single-minded determination of Dr. Dianne Miller, our clinical leader. But OVCARE's rapid evolution from an idea of a team to one of the top three...

Teamwork drives ovarian cancer research

Hello, My name is Dr. David Huntsman and it is a pleasure to return as guest blogger for the BC Cancer Foundation. It has been several years since my last blog, and a lot has happened with regard to ovarian cancer research at the BC Cancer Agency. British Columbia’s Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OVCARE) first began over a dinner conversation with my colleague Dr. Dianne Miller, the head of gynecological oncology at the BC Cancer Agency. She was tired of seeing women dying from ovarian cancer and demanded that clinicians and researchers work more effectively as a team to put an end to this...

Introducing September guest blogger Dr. David Huntsman

We are grateful to Dr. Kim Chi for sharing with us the remarkable advancements in prostate cancer research that have taken place at BC Cancer thanks to our generous donor community. It was inspiring cycling alongside Dr. Chi at this year’s British Columbia Ride to Conquer Cancer and to hear him discuss the tangible difference we are making in the lives cancer patients and their families through this event. We are pleased to welcome back to our blog Dr. David Huntsman, director of BC Cancer’s Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OVCARE), for the month of September. Dr. Huntsman will discuss the...

BC Cancer: a global leader in cancer discovery

For my last blog, I thought I would write about the future. But first I’d like to talk about the past. I started my career as an oncologist 20 years ago. At that time, it was all about chemotherapy. But since then, we’ve seen incredible advancements in targeted therapy with drugs designed to inhibit pathways activated by cancers that help them grow, divide and spread. In the last few years, we’ve also seen major advancements in immunotherapy - harnessing the body’s immune system to recognize and target the cancer. When I started, we had one drug treatment for advanced prostate cancer that was...

BC Ride propels prostate cancer research

The support of the BC Cancer Foundation and, by extension its generous donors, have been instrumental in our research successes to date. An example is our work on liquid biopsies for men with advanced prostate cancer. For these men, understanding the genetic profile of their cancer is important to try and develop personalized or precision medicine strategies, where we tailor treatment to a particular patient and the individual make-up of their cancer. This is usually done with a biopsy, but for men with advanced prostate cancer where the cancer typically metastasizes to the bone, this is...

Cutting-edge research driven by patient experience

Holding leadership roles at the BC Cancer Agency means that much of my time is spent in meetings and teleconference calls. This may sound boring, but meeting with other physicians and health care practitioners is essential to delivering state-of-the-art, quality oncology care with a patient-centred approach, which is very important to all of us the BC Cancer Agency. But what does ‘a patient-centred’ approach actually mean? For me, it's making sure that our patients can access proven effective treatments as well as the most promising clinical trials; that the systems are in place to make sure...

Prostate cancer clinical trials yield promise

Hello, I’m Dr. Kim Nguyen Chi, medical oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency – Vancouver Centre where I’m also the Regional Medical Director. My specialty area is prostate cancer for both my clinical work and research activities. My research is focused on clinical trials and development of biomarkers. Clinical trials are research involving people with cancer where we are trying to develop new treatments, or new ways of using old treatment, to help people with cancer do better. Biomarkers are needed in cancer to help us determine a person’s prognosis and/or response to therapy so we can better...

Introducing August guest blogger Dr. Kim Chi

Special thanks to Dr. Daniel Renouf for sharing the incredible progress being made to treat pancreatic cancer. It is a true testament to the importance of events such as the Glotman-Simpson Cypress Challenge , proceeds from which fund this life-saving work. We are pleased to welcome back to our blog Dr. Kim Chi, medical oncologist and director of clinical research at BC Cancer, for the month of August. Dr. Chi will blog about his work advancing treatment for prostate cancer through a number of promising clinical trials. Dr. Chi will also share his experience participating in this year’s...

Philanthropy fuels progress for pancreatic cancer research

In my previous blog I discussed some of the exciting research happening in pancreatic cancer led by our group at the BC Cancer Agency and Pancreas Centre BC. It’s safe to say that none of this would be possible without the very generous donors of the BC Cancer Foundation. When I came to the BC Cancer Agency several years ago, a major fundraising initiative by the Foundation helped create the Pancreas Centre BC. Donor support helped generate an explosion of pancreatic cancer research in BC, making us now a national leader in this area. The 10 th annual Glotman-Simpson Cypress Challenge , which...

Combining immunotherapy and chemotherapy to treat pancreatic cancer

Thanks to everyone who had a chance to look at last week’s blog. This week I will share with you a little bit more about my everyday work, and discuss an exciting new clinical trial now underway for pancreatic cancer. One of the fulfilling aspects of working as a clinician-researcher is that every day is different. Several days of the week I spend in the oncology clinic at BC Cancer. We have a great clinical team, including a nurse practitioner, family doctor specializing in oncology, and multiple medical trainees including medical students, residents, and medical oncology fellows. In...

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