Dr. Kim Chi
Medical Oncologist, Senior Scientist, Medical Director - Clinical Trials Unit, BC Cancer Agency

Blog Posts by Dr. Kim Chi

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 blog posts

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...

BC Ride propels prostate cancer research

The support of the BC Cancer Foundation and, by extension its generous donors, have been instrumental in our research successes to date. An example is our work on liquid biopsies for men with advanced prostate cancer. For these men, understanding the genetic profile of their cancer is important to try and develop personalized or precision medicine strategies, where we tailor treatment to a particular patient and the individual make-up of their cancer. This is usually done with a biopsy, but for men with advanced prostate cancer where the cancer typically metastasizes to the bone, this is...

Cutting-edge research driven by patient experience

Holding leadership roles at the BC Cancer Agency means that much of my time is spent in meetings and teleconference calls. This may sound boring, but meeting with other physicians and health care practitioners is essential to delivering state-of-the-art, quality oncology care with a patient-centred approach, which is very important to all of us the BC Cancer Agency. But what does ‘a patient-centred’ approach actually mean? For me, it's making sure that our patients can access proven effective treatments as well as the most promising clinical trials; that the systems are in place to make sure...

Prostate cancer clinical trials yield promise

Hello, I’m Dr. Kim Nguyen Chi, medical oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency – Vancouver Centre where I’m also the Regional Medical Director. My specialty area is prostate cancer for both my clinical work and research activities. My research is focused on clinical trials and development of biomarkers. Clinical trials are research involving people with cancer where we are trying to develop new treatments, or new ways of using old treatment, to help people with cancer do better. Biomarkers are needed in cancer to help us determine a person’s prognosis and/or response to therapy so we can better...

Dr. Kim Chi: Looking Ahead

I’ve been lucky in my career to be part of research that has resulted in major advances in the treatment of prostate cancer. When I first started as an oncologist, there was only one treatment for advanced, hormone therapy resistant prostate cancer – it was a chemotherapy called mitoxantrone, which although well tolerated, only produced a modest improvement in symptoms with no survival benefit. Since then we have seen the introduction of five new drugs that improve survival and symptoms. Where once the typical survival was one year, I can now tell my patients the average survival can be...

Philanthropy, Research, and Riding to Conquer Cancer!

Key to doing cancer research is funding (i.e. money!). As researchers, we spend a lot of time trying to get funding from various sources, particularly granting agencies. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – by subjecting our ideas to repeated scrutiny, it helps us to refine our research plans and make sure that the best projects go forward. The problem is that there are lots of good ideas and not enough funding sources. Also, sometimes we need to explore ideas in a preliminary way to know if there is real promise in a good idea or not, but it can be difficult to get funding for such projects...

Translational Research and the Latest Prostate Cancer Discoveries

At the BC Cancer Agency I wear a number of hats: first, I’m a medical oncologist which is a sub-specialist in the drug treatment of cancer. I’m further sub-sub-specialized in that I mainly treat patients with genitourinary (GU) cancers (cancers of the prostate, bladder, testis, kidney and adrenal gland). I’m also a researcher and study outcomes, biomarkers, and conduct clinical trials of new therapies, all with aim of improving the care and treatment for patients. Although my research focus is primarily in prostate and other GU cancers, the discoveries in one kind of cancer often can be...

Cancer Care and Research: A Rewarding Career

My family came to Canada with pretty much nothing in the 1960s from Vietnam during the war there. After stints in Edmonton and Kingston, where I was born, the family settled in Ottawa where I grew up. From an early age I always had an interest in biology, I suspect from spending a childhood roaming freely outdoors. I must admit though, a career in medicine was not a lifelong dream and I only thought about it in undergrad when I found out all my friends were applying – after all, I had better marks then they did, so why not? It turns out that I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of medicine and I...