Dr. Karen Gelmon
Senior Scientist and Medical Oncologist BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Centre

Blog Posts by Dr. Karen Gelmon

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 blog posts

Other Aspects of Research and the Future

Cancer is not just about tumours—it’s about the people who develop cancer. In my career, I have seen a lot of improvements in the treatments for cancer, which include better survival rates and less toxic treatments. I have also seen an increased appreciation for cancer prevention and for survivorship—the two ends of the spectrum. I have been involved in a number of prevention activities, including a large trial with the National Cancer Institute of Canada–Clinical Trials Group (NCIC-CTG) that just reported a beneficial effect for the drug exemestane in preventing breast cancer. I am also...

Understanding Tumours

When I began treating breast cancer, we treated patients according to whether they were pre-menopausal or not, and whether there was any sign of cancer in the lymph nodes of the armpit. We knew that some cancers were more aggressive by looking at them under the microscope and that they often recurred. In breast cancer, we understood that a majority of tumours responded to hormone treatment. Since then, our knowledge has expanded, and we now understand many more characteristics of cancers and treat according to these factors rather than just the size of the tumour. In breast cancer, we can now...

Oncology: We’ve come along way

My name is Karen Gelmon and I am a medical oncologist. As a medical oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency, I see patients with breast cancer, Kaposi’s sarcoma and persons with any type of cancer who are interested in participating in Phase I clinical trials of new experimental drugs. I first came to the BC Cancer Agency’s Vancouver Centre as a resident training in internal medicine, and later returned to train in medical oncology. The first weekend I was on call as a medical resident I worked with a former Head of Medical Oncology, Dr. Jim Goldie, who is a phenomenally creative thinker. He...