VANCOUVER, B.C. – The BC Cancer Foundation announced a spectacular $3.05 million raised to support the launch of NETRACER: Compounds to Conquer Cancer at its annual black tie Inspiration Gala on Saturday evening at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. NETRACER is a world-class radionuclide therapy program that benefits patients with neuroendocrine cancers (NETs) and will be developed to benefit other cancer types.
During the live auction portion of the gala, more than 450 guests in attendance were astonished as an inspiring gift of $1 million was announced in support of NETRACER and its world-class therapy that will be made available to B.C. patients within the next year. Patients with NETs have previously had to travel out of province and even out of country for life-saving treatment. A generous gift of $300,000 donated by Diane Walsh pushed the evenings total over its $3 million fundraising goal. A passionate philanthropist, Diane knew she had to contribute to the cause. “I give because I knew it felt right in my heart.”
“We are so grateful to our donors and the entire Inspiration Gala committee. NETRACER is an immensely exciting advancement in cancer treatment that will bring new hope and optimism to patients in our province,” said Sarah Roth, President and CEO, BC Cancer Foundation. “This first-in-Canada innovative therapy is a reality because of our generous community and will contribute to B.C.'s global leadership in cancer research and care.”
NETRACER is a personalized treatment program that will greatly improve outcomes and reduce treatment side effects by using a highly specialized PET/CT scan and nuclear medicine compound to treat NETs. Only a handful of countries around the world offer this imaging and treatment approach.
“The technology and treatment approach that NETRACER will provide for patients in B.C. is truly lifesaving,” says Ann-Britt Everett, a patient diagnosed with NETs who had to travel to Europe six times, away from her family for specialized treatment. “I could not be more thrilled that such specialized and effective treatment is now available to patients so much closer to home.”
With Inspiration Gala funds, NETRACER project leads at the BC Cancer Agency – Dr. Francois Benard, Vice President of Research, and Medical Oncologist, Dr. Hagen Kennecke – and their team will now have the infrastructure in place to launch the program and quickly expand to patients with other types of cancers such as breast, prostate and melanoma.
“NETRACER will not only have a very positive impact for patients with neuroendocrine tumours, but will benefit patients with other cancer types as well,” says Dr. Kennecke. “With this effective, targeted approach, outcomes will undoubtedly be better and patients will have the opportunity to receive therapy much closer to home.”
This year, more than 26,000 British Columbians will be diagnosed with cancer. For those patients with rare and hard-to-treat cancers will come specialized and life-saving care, which NETRACER will now be able to provide right here in B.C.
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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.