President & CEO, BC Cancer Foundation

There’s exciting news coming out of the Genome Sciences Centre (GSC)today that brings us one step closer to the goal of realizing personalized medicine in our lifetime.

Personalized medicine means that the entire spectrum of cancer control – from prevention and screening to treatment and survival – can be individually prescribed, based on your unique genetic make-up.

Today, in the journal Genome Biology, researchers at the GSC published the first documented case in the world where genomic sequencing of a cancerous tumour was used to help doctors decide on a course of treatment and choice of therapy for a specific cancer patient.

The patient had a rare tumour of the tongue, which was at a metastatic stage. It was so rare, in fact, that there was no established treatment available.

The oncologists brought the problem to the GSC, where they analyzed the genome of the tunour and looked at all the genetic changes that had occurred.  The clinicians were then able to use this information to create a course of therapy for their patient, which successfully stabilized the cancer for several months.

As GSC Director Dr. Marco Marra explains, next-generation sequencing technology is now faster and more cost-effective than ever before, so it can be applied to a clinical setting to help clinicians choose the best possible treatments for their patients.

So now it is possible to imagine how one day it could be used for every single person in British Columbia who is diagnosed with cancer.

BC Cancer Foundation donors believe in this dream, which is why we provided $24 million to establish the GSC, and have continued to provide funding to support the amazing work they do. 

You are our partners in discovery!  Because of your support of the BC Cancer Foundation, you can celebrate this discovery equally with researchers because you played an important role in making it happen.  Thank you. 

Warm regards,
Doug