Medical Oncologist, BC Cancer Agency

I am actively involved in clinical research at the BC Cancer Agency, including being an investigator in several gastrointestinal cancer clinical trials for patients, and as such am fortunate to be able to help with the translation of research into patient outcomes.

We have a world class research centre and treatment facility. Some of the research requires access to tissue samples to gain a better understanding of how cancer develops. Other research directly impacts on patient care such as clinical trials or the Personalized Onco-Genomics (POG) Program. To be honest, there is so much going on—it’s hard to keep track of all the great research ideas that are generated!         

The main focus of my research is relating the understanding of tumor biology to patient outcomes.  This is done through several projects—our tissue bank research projects and the Personalized Onco-Genomics Program. Helping connect the research information that we can gain on tumors and then linking this through our patient outcomes databases do this. 

By understanding different tumor characteristics, hopefully we can develop better markers that will predict how people will respond to treatment. 

The other aspect of research that I am involved in is clinical trials. Clinical trials offer an opportunity to advance clinical cancer research with the use of new drugs or procedures. In addition, we conduct other trials looking at lifestyle modifications. For example, we have a clinical trial investigating whether exercise helps decrease the risk of colorectal cancer.  

The research that occurs at the BC Cancer Agency happens at many levels—from basic research, patient outcomes and clinical trials. Through innovation, we strive to provide world class care for all of our patients.

 

Howie