President & CEO, BC Cancer Foundation

Another exciting day!  Today we announced a $1 million gift from Roche Canada to support two key research areas at the BC Cancer Agency.

They’re donating $500,000 each to the Agency’s Tumour Tissue Repository (TTR) and to its Breast and Gastrointestinal Cancers Outcomes Research Units.

The TTR is a state-of-the-art biobank.  If you or someone you know has been a BC Cancer Agency patient, they’ve likely been asked if they will donate their tissue, blood and other clinical data.  Every single patient’s biological and clinical information adds to the pool of knowledge that helps advance cancer research and care.

The research breakthroughs we’ve recently seen would simply not be possible without the TTR.

Roche Canada’s investment will allow the TTR to increase its capacity for tissue collection, its distribution of biospecimins for research and to then increase its support of clinical trials and studies of patient outcomes.

Me with Ronnie Miller, President & CEO of Roche Canada, and Dr. David Levy, President of the BC Cancer Agency

The Breast and Gastrointestinal Cancers Outcomes Research Units are some of the Agency’s largest, most productive and collaborative clinical research groups.  The new funding will enable clinicians and researchers to better evaluate and analyze the impact of new treatments on patients and build the units’ research capacity.

As Dr. Hagen Kennecke, Medical Oncologist and Head of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Outcomes Research Unit said, this gift provides sustainability and long-term support for the next few years.

But ultimately, the most important reason for investments such as this one was provided by colorectal cancer survivor Dr. Brenda Osmond.  She explained how, as a survivor, there is always a lingering worry that her cancer will return.  But these investments into research provide her best hope – hope that if her cancer does return, she will have the best possible treatments available to her.

Roche Canada has invested a cumulative total of $2 million in the BC Cancer Foundation to support the work of the Agency, and I’m confident that as organizations such as Roche continue to do so, and as our researchers and clinicians keep doing the work they do, we will see more and more real advances in patient care and treatments. 

Warm regards,
Doug