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A Glimpse into the Future of Cancer Research and Care

Dear readers - thank you so much for returning to my fourth and final blog post. This week I have an opportunity to reflect on some of the revolutions in cancer treatment that I have personally witnessed over the past two decades and speak a little on what I think our future might look like.

I graduated from medical school in 1993, and started training in radiation oncology that same...

BC Cancer Agency: The Place for Cutting-Edge Research

Hello everyone,

Right now is a very exciting time for cancer research in British Columbia for several reasons, one of them being the huge advances that have been made in the technology we use at the BC Cancer Agency.

The BC Cancer Agency is a world leader in genomics research, which is the study of the genetic changes that lead to cancer development and growth. In the past decade...

Current Pancreatic Cancer Research at the BC Cancer Agency

Hello everyone,

In this week’s post I’d like to tell you about some of the areas of research we’re working on to improve our ability to diagnose and treat pancreatic cancer. As many of you are aware, pancreatic cancer is a common and very aggressive cancer, and there are several reasons why we have a difficult time treating it: one issue is that pancreatic cancer often doesn’t cause...

Genomics is just the beginning

When I first started working in cancer genetics, we used old technologies to indentify genetic alterations in tumours. It was challenging work and we were often left in what felt like a no-man’s land. But the discoveries and disease-specific genetic alterations found then are now recognized world-wide as the drivers of those diseases.

These days, the BC Cancer Agency Genome Sciences...

Cancer Genome Sequencing and Amazing Progress

The field of cancer genome sequencing has exploded due to amazing early progress in identifying new mutations in cancer, patterns of how tumours change over time and identification of new disease subtypes. The work my team and I have done has contributed to this progress due to innovations in computationally modeling these datasets to infer mutations responsible for disease.

Currently...

A disease of the genome & Me at the BC Cancer Agency

During my PhD at UBC, I became convinced of a notion that had been known for decades: “cancer is a disease of the genome”. So naturally, to further our understanding of cancer, the genomes of tumours would need to be precisely decoded.

Frustratingly, technology did not yet exist to study individual tumours in this way. After all, it took the human genome project billions of dollars, 15...

The Personalized Medicine Project (PMP)

Right now, cancer treatment is predominantly a one-size-fits-all approach. Cancer patients may undergo multiple courses of treatments until the right one for them is found. As you can imagine, this can cause added stress for patients and their families, as well as the pressure of time—which not all patients can afford to lose.

One of the ideas behind personalized medicine is to...

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