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Introducing November guest blogger Dr. Sam Kader

We are grateful to Dr. Stephen Chia for sharing with us the exciting developments in breast cancer research taking place at BC Cancer as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is inspiring to know that much of this life-saving work is possible thanks to the generosity of our donors. We are pleased to welcome to our blog Dr. Sam Kader, radiation oncologist and regional medical director at the BC Cancer Vancouver Island Centre, for the month of November. Dr. Kader oversees all facets of cancer research and care at the centre and will discuss how funds from this year's Jingle Mingle will help...

The future of breast cancer care in British Columbia

As I touched on last week, the importance of the BC Cancer Foundation and its donors cannot be overstated when it comes to fuelling new and more effective treatments for breast cancer. In large part because of this, I expect to see a significant shift in the way we diagnose, treat and manage patients facing this disease in British Columbia. Over the next ten years, I hope to see us begin using blood samples to profile a tumour. This will be significant as we can use this to identify where a patient’s cancer-causing gene abnormality is located and in which pathway, and then prescribe drugs to...

Clinical trials paving new path for breast cancer care in BC

One of the most exciting areas of breast cancer research is the study of genomics. Genomics is about understanding the genetic makeup of different cancers, in turn enabling us to develop targeted treatments for them. Through this kind of research, we can dive deep in terms of what is driving a patient’s cancer, how it will behave and how it might respond to certain treatments. Genomic research shown us how vastly different breast cancers are from one another and how patient-specific treatment options need to be. Our hope is that now, with the ability to sequence off of bioposies, we can...

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: A time to recognize research and care

Hello, my name is Dr. Stephen Chia and I am a medical oncologist here at BC Cancer, as well as the chair of the Provincial Breast Tumour Group. I’m excited to return to the blog this month for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s an important time of year to not only bring attention to the prevalence of breast cancer, but also to recognize the number of advancements that have been made to treat this disease across our province. Since I last blogged four years ago, significant strides have been made to improve breast cancer treatment and detection here at BC Cancer. We have been able to lead a...

Introducing October guest blogger Dr. Stephen Chia

We thank Dr. David Huntsman for updating us on team OVCARE and their mission to reduce ovarian cancer cases by 50 per cent within 15 years. I was truly inspired by the generosity displayed by our community at Hope Couture in support of this goal. Thanks to our donors, team OVCARE is better equipped than ever to curb this disease. We are pleased to welcome back to our blog Dr. Stephen Chia, medical oncologist at BC Cancer, for the month of October. Dr. Chia will describe the world-leading breast cancer research taking place at BC Cancer as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Thanks for...

Ovarian cancer research propelled by philanthropy

Much of the progress we have been able to achieve to date within the Ovarian Cancer Research (OVCARE) program has been possible thanks to our many partnerships. Indeed, mentioned in my first blog, the nature of OVCARE as a multi-disciplinary, multi-institution research group makes partnership inherent to our success. In fact, our partnerships extend beyond the medical and scientific communities to include patients their families and the philanthropic organizations that support us. Maintaining and building on these partnerships will be essential as we embark on our fifteen year plan of...

Dr. Huntsman: "It's an absence of a story that we want to create"

I was truly inspired by the outpouring of support at Hope Couture this week, where over $600,000 was raised for research into the prevention of ovarian cancer, specifically for the Ovarian Cancer Research (OVCARE) program. The London-themed luncheon reminded me of the very humble beginnings of OVCARE. What is now a world-leading, multi-disciplinary and multi-institution research group began at a Chinese restaurant over a decade ago thanks to the single-minded determination of Dr. Dianne Miller, our clinical leader. But OVCARE's rapid evolution from an idea of a team to one of the top three...

Teamwork drives ovarian cancer research

Hello, My name is Dr. David Huntsman and it is a pleasure to return as guest blogger for the BC Cancer Foundation. It has been several years since my last blog, and a lot has happened with regard to ovarian cancer research at the BC Cancer Agency. British Columbia’s Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OVCARE) first began over a dinner conversation with my colleague Dr. Dianne Miller, the head of gynecological oncology at the BC Cancer Agency. She was tired of seeing women dying from ovarian cancer and demanded that clinicians and researchers work more effectively as a team to put an end to this...

Introducing September guest blogger Dr. David Huntsman

We are grateful to Dr. Kim Chi for sharing with us the remarkable advancements in prostate cancer research that have taken place at BC Cancer thanks to our generous donor community. It was inspiring cycling alongside Dr. Chi at this year’s British Columbia Ride to Conquer Cancer and to hear him discuss the tangible difference we are making in the lives cancer patients and their families through this event. We are pleased to welcome back to our blog Dr. David Huntsman, director of BC Cancer’s Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OVCARE), for the month of September. Dr. Huntsman will discuss the...

BC Cancer: a global leader in cancer discovery

For my last blog, I thought I would write about the future. But first I’d like to talk about the past. I started my career as an oncologist 20 years ago. At that time, it was all about chemotherapy. But since then, we’ve seen incredible advancements in targeted therapy with drugs designed to inhibit pathways activated by cancers that help them grow, divide and spread. In the last few years, we’ve also seen major advancements in immunotherapy - harnessing the body’s immune system to recognize and target the cancer. When I started, we had one drug treatment for advanced prostate cancer that was...

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