Where does the Deeley Research Centre (DRC) hope to be in five years? We want to take the ideas we’re developing today and apply them in the clinic. So, we’re putting together a clinical trials program that will allow – for the first time – new immune-based treatments to be offered to patients at the Agency. We envision clinical trials where, for example, a cancer patient who has completed standard treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy is given a cancer vaccine designed to prevent the tumor from ever coming back. Our work with the Genome Sciences Centre will help us design a vaccine that is tailored to an individual’s specific tumor, which we think we greatly increase effectiveness and reduce side effects. The prospect of launching these trials in the near future is what excites me and my team most about our work — the opportunity to help real patients in the real world.
As this is the BC Cancer Foundation’s blog, I can’t sign off without again mentioning the significant impact donor support has had on our research at the DRC. The DRC would not have been built in the first place had it not been for donor support. Every idea I’ve mentioned in this blog has been pursued with funding from the Foundation, which we can then leverage (sometimes as much as 10-to-1) with grant funding from national and international agencies. To learn more about the DRC, please contact the Foundation’s Victoria office to sign up for one of our monthly tours. Thanks for helping me and my team learn how to harness the power of the immune system to fight cancer.