Radiation Oncologist and Clinical Trial Director, BC Cancer Agency

When thinking about what I wanted to write in today’s post, I knew I first wanted to say thank you to George and Margaret Braun and their family for giving generously to the BC Cancer Foundation.  Their gift provided substantial funding for the Clinical Trials Unit in Abbotsford that now bears their name.  Without the Brauns, there would not be clinical trials in Abbotsford. Period.

Along those lines, I should also thank the 20 riders of the Wheel Warriors’ team who raised $50,000 for clinical trials in Abbotsford last year in the Ride to Conquer Cancer.

Funding for clinical trials is very complex.  Some receive grant support, others receive funding from pharmaceutical companies and most receive funding from research co-operative groups that provide partial investment.

But because clinical trials require us to monitor our patients so closely, it often means we are performing extra lab tests, X-rays and CT scans.  We could also require extra pharmacist time to make up any new chemotherapy drugs or more nursing review visits.   Because these tests are part of research, and not standard care, they fall outside of what MSP and insurance can fund.

This is why we rely very heavily on philanthropy to enable more clinical trials.

We believe that clinical trials provide a service to the community and to our patients.  Trials increase the options for many cancer patients, they advance medical knowledge and they improve the morale of the staff.

They are all about finding the best ways to treat our patients.  And the most interesting research questions — the ones that we believe will have the greatest impact on our patients — usually involve the trials that are not generally fully funded.  That is why donor support is important.

Thank you to both our past and future donors who will help us advance our findings and do better for patients.

Devin