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Grants awarded for homegrown game changing cancer research

January 22, 2014

Found in News

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Known for being a leading recipient in international grant competitions in cancer research, the BC Cancer Agency announced the winners of their own internal competition to support game changing cancer research in British Columbia, funded by the BC Cancer Foundation.

The shortlisted Agency candidates were selected by a panel of representatives from leading cancer research institutions across North America, including Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the University of Colorado.

The winners Dr. Kim Chi, Medical Director, Clinical Trials at the BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Centre; and Dr. David Scott, Research and Clinical Fellow, Centre for Lymphoid Cancer at the BC Cancer Agency, will each receive $150,000 a year for five years to support their innovative research projects.

Dr. Chi’s research will look at:

  • New treatments for patients with castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) (the lethal form of prostate cancer) and how they can be delivered in a personalized manner.   
  • His team will work to translate discoveries made in the laboratory to patients; and transfer learnings from clinical trials with patients back to the laboratory.
  • Three inter-connected areas encompass Dr. Chi’s work:
    • New Drug Development involves the evaluation of new drugs, new combinations of drugs, or new ways of using proven drugs for men with CRPC who volunteer to participate in clinical trials.
    • Prognostic and Predictive Markers to identify clinical characteristics and/or laboratory results that will help physicians to understand a patient’s prognosis, but more importantly, how to best apply a particular treatment to a particular patient to individualize therapy for them.
    • CRPC Population Outcomes evaluates how standard treatments have been applied and the results obtained in the community in order to optimize care delivery and generate new research questions.

Dr. Scott’s research will examine:

  • Ways to identify patients with B-cell lymphoid cancers that are at high risk of not being cured by current treatment and, by understanding why this occurs, improve patient outcomes.
  • Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) will be studied using cutting edge analysis of DNA, the basic genetic material in cells, to reveal the genetic changes that exclusively occur in patients with treatment resistant disease. Dr. Scott’s team will look for genetic changes in the DLBCL tumours of a large group of patients to determine which of these changes are associated with treatment failure.
  • By doing this the team will be able to separate the genetic changes that cause DLBCL from those that cause the tumour to be resistant to treatment.
  • The knowledge gained from this research will ultimately allow the development of more specific and more and more effective treatments for patients with lymphoid cancer.

Clinicians and researchers across the BC Cancer Agency were invited to submit a proposal outlining how their research would benefit cancer research or enhance of care. From 17 submissions, five candidates were shortlisted, and although there was only two awards the panel felt all were impressive and merited funding support. It is hoped that this will be an annual competition.

Doug Nelson, President of the BC Cancer Foundation

“The generosity of our donor community throughout British Columbia enables the BC Cancer Foundation to invest in Dr. Chi’s and Dr. Scott’s promising research. We look forward, with great anticipation, to the advances in knowledge that will be gained in prostate and lymphoid cancer to improve the lives of cancer patients in our province and beyond.”

Dr. Samuel Abraham, Vice President research, BC Cancer Agency

“This grant brings together research and clinical excellence, a joining which will lead to truly game changing research. We are grateful to the BC Cancer Foundation for supporting these grants, which I believe will enable more effective treatment options for our patients.” 


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.ca.

Media enquiries please contact:
Monica Bisal, Communications Specialist
BC Cancer Foundation
t. 604-707-5934

Jenn Currie, Communications Officer
BC Cancer Agency
t. 604-675-8106

e. jenn.currie@bccancer.bc.ca