Medical Oncologist, BC Cancer Agency

As part of the GI Cancer outcomes unit, the research we do ensures that new therapies are achieving the benefits in a cost effective manner.  We can also use this data to link to our various pathology tumor banks to explore new areas of understanding of the causes of certain cancers in the hopes of developing new therapies and methods of detection.

Our clinical trials units have continued to provide state of the art treatment for oncology patients that are not yet approved.  

The use of sequencing technology has helped us understand tumor biology better and hopefully in the future will provide us with more informed decision making about which therapies and even when to change therapies in patients.

Rewarding Work from BC Cancer Foundation on Vimeo.

As the new year is just around the corner, it is a perfect time to reflect on the achievements that have been made, and where to focus our efforts for the upcoming year.

Research Improves Outcomes

There are many exciting areas of research in oncology.  One is the genomics programs that are occurring, and the prospect of using the circulating tumor DNA that may be found in a patient’s blood stream.

The other is modifying the immune system to attack cancer. Many of these therapies have been shown to promise especially in the area of melanoma, but now in lung, bladder and stomach cancers.

The Future of Cancer Research and Care

My hope is that we gain a better understanding of cancer biology. This will help us with better screening techniques that hopefully will detect cancers earlier, or identify people who are at a higher risk of developing cancers so that we can change that risk.

By understanding biology better, we will have better drugs and a better rationale to choose these agents for patients.

It has been a great pleasure to be the guest blogger this month. Many people ask me why I became an oncologist. My career has me involved in the research, education and patient care. The child in me that blew up potatoes (see first post) has the opportunity to be curious and explore with research scientists. I am able to combine my love of science with caring for patients.

It is a privilege to care for cancer patients and to be a part of their lives.  With the help of BC Cancer Foundation donors, we continue to innovate and advance care and research.  

Thank you for this opportunity and I hoped you enjoyed my thoughts for this month!

 

Howie