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Cancer Research in BC Celebrates a Decade of Discovery

June 23, 2015

Found in News

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The BC Cancer Agency Research Centre celebrates its tenth birthday and a decade of discovery from its labs.

“From humble roots as a basement lab to a state of the art facility that has helped develop treatments that have saved countless lives, together we celebrate 10 years of the BC Cancer Agency’s Research Centre,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “The work conducted through the research centre is proof of the tenacity and heart of our researchers, who are committed to finding innovations that have changed the way we look at cancer.”

BC Cancer Foundation donors have been instrumental in bringing this world-class research hub to life; from the donation of land from philanthropists Leslie and Gordon Diamond, to the $100-million Millennium Campaign to build the facility, to over $170 million in donor dollars directly invested to propel the past decade of breakthrough research.

Rising from the basement of an old bakery to a state-of-the-art research facility allowed for the expansion of people, programs and technology at the Research Centre, and it quickly became a global powerhouse in scientific discovery.

Researchers at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre have redefined cancer from a biological standpoint – how it develops, how it evades treatment, and how to better attack the disease at the genetic level. This has ensured more patients are cured of their disease today and more cures will be a reality in the decades to come.

"As the second scientist to be recruited to the BC Cancer Agency in 1973, I have been proud to be part of its spectacular growth and achievements underpinned throughout this history by the dedicated efforts of the BC Cancer Foundation,” said Dr. Connie Eaves, Distinguished Scientist, Terry Fox Lab, BC Cancer Agency. “Cancer research at the BC Cancer Agency began with the rapid development of the Bakery into an internationally recognized hub of interdisciplinary activity. The next phase was launched by the construction of the state of the art research facility where breakthroughs are now a regular feature."

Agency researchers have capitalized on rapid advancements in technology and are leading the way globally in the pursuit to uncover the genetic changes that determine treatment outcomes in cancer.

The BC Cancer Agency’s Centre of Lymphoid Cancer, supported by BC Cancer Foundation donors, is a global leader in research. The team has proven that when a small number of genes are either turned off or on within cancer cells, this determines a patient’s prognosis in Hodgkin lymphoma and large B cell lymphoma. Clinical tests developed at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre can predict treatment response in patients based on this gain in scientific knowledge.

“With the support of BC Cancer Foundation donors, the iconic BC Cancer Agency Research Centre has provided a home for the great cancer research minds of B.C. to turn ideas into discoveries, and knowledge gains into meaningful advances in patient care,” said Erik Dierks, VP Development, BC Cancer Foundation.

Philanthropy has also supported the development of early detection tools, critical in reducing the burden of cancer on British Columbians. Game-changing technology to detect oral and skin cancers were developed at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre and researchers are in the midst of building ‘super-resolution’ optical detection devices for lung and cervical cancers.

To learn more about the #decadeofdiscovery in cancer research here in B.C., visit: www.bccancerfoundation.com/discovery


Media contact:

Allison Colina
Communications Manager
e. Allison.colina@bccancer.bc.ca
t. 604-707-5934  

           Jenn Currie
           Communications Officer
           e. jenn.currie@bccancer.bc.ca
           t. 604-675-8106

The BC Cancer Foundation is the bridge that connects philanthropic support and research breakthroughs in cancer knowledge.  As the fundraising partner of the BC Cancer Agency and the largest charitable funder of cancer research in this province, we enable donors to make contributions to leading-edge research that has a direct impact on improvements to cancer care for patients in British Columbia. We fund with the goal of finding solutions. Visit www.bccancerfoundation.com to make a donation or to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer.

The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia by working with community partners to deliver a range of oncology services, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care. For more information, visit www.bccancer.bc.ca.