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Why we need to expand personalized cancer treatment in British Columbia

Personalized Onco-Genomics needs to grow if we’re to fully address the cancer problem here in British Columbia.

Right now we have around 26,000 new cancer diagnoses in the province, and that figure is expected to increase as our populations continue to grow and age. Approximately 10,000 of those new cases will present themselves as metastatic disease, and that is a very big clinical...

Experimental study revolutionizes cancer care across globe

The origins of POG

We chart the origins of the Personalized Onco-Genomics (POG) platform to an experience that occurred around 9 years ago. We had been building the capacity to sequence all 3+ billion letters of human cancer genomes. At the time there was a patient with a rare form of cancer that had been treated with surgery and radiation, but the cancer had come back...

Clinical trials paving new path for breast cancer care in BC

One of the most exciting areas of breast cancer research is the study of genomics. Genomics is about understanding the genetic makeup of different cancers, in turn enabling us to develop targeted treatments for them. Through this kind of research, we can dive deep in terms of what is driving a patient’s cancer, how it will behave and how it might respond to certain treatments. 


My Path to a Career in Cancer Research (Part III)

The sequencers at the GSC were rapidly gaining improvements in read length and throughput. I spent my time working with the more interesting (and complex) types of data that could be generated, beginning with “transcriptomes” and then “exomes”.

Despite knowing I wanted to do a PhD, I had not yet been convinced of a project that I would want to spend the next three to five years on and...

My Path to a Career in Cancer Research (Part II)

The GSC was a part of a large consortium that was producing resources and data to help better annotate the human genome. I started out with fairly blue-collar work that utilized my knowledge of molecular biology but didn’t initially require a lot of computational expertise. I eventually became involved in some work on piecing together reference genomes for some other organisms.

In my...

Dr. Ryan Morin: My Path to a Career in Cancer Research (Part I)

For my first post I have been asked to spare you the details of my research, which is a tough thing to ask of any scientist! So I will start by giving you some context on how I got here.

As you will learn, I am a homegrown scientist. I was born and raised in Cumberland, a village on Vancouver Island that is too small to be officially referred to as a town. As many of us do in school, I...

Reflecting on the Pace of Cancer Discovery

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of cancer, “The Emperor of All Maladies,” Siddhartha Mukherjee quotes the Red Queen from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass” to describe perfectly how clinical cancer research must move: “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.”

I find myself reflecting on this quote very often. Cancer cells arise from us – they...

Love what you do and it doesn't feel like work

My name is Intan Schrader and I am co-medical director of the Hereditary Cancer Program with Sophie Sun. I am a medical geneticist, specializing in cancer genetics.  

It was during medical school that I took a serious interest in cancer genetics. After receiving my medical degree from the University of Melbourne, I completed my residency in Medical Genetics at the University of...

Come Together

Waiting for the elevators at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre, I see the plaque commemorating the Jambor-McCarthy gift to the BC Cancer Foundation. It includes their family motto: work hard, live well, give back. I’ve adopted this for my own mission statement, and try to exemplify these in my work at the BC Cancer Agency.  

Every day, I work hard to provide...


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