BC Cancer Foundation donors provide crucial support for clinical care and research to improve the outcome of lung cancer patients. For example, through the generous support of donors, we were able to renovate the Endoscopy Suite at the BC Cancer Agency’s Vancouver Centre to install a sophisticated image management system, and acquire the latest endoscopic ultrasound equipment and different types of instruments for biopsy.
This first class facility enables us to have a rapid diagnostic clinic. When patients suspected to have lung cancer are referred to us, we can offer a one-stop visit with a consultation, a bronchoscopic biopsy and staging procedure all on the same day. Once lung cancer is diagnosed, the patient can be treated speedily. We also have special biopsy tools to obtain tissue for molecular testing for patients who are considered for targeted therapy or immunotherapy. For patients with small lung lesions found by screening CT scans, we have a sophisticated computerized navigation system to guide biopsy. None of these would have happened without the generous support of donors.
Donations are also vital for recruitment of talented scientists and clinician-scientists to conduct research in lung cancer, support pilot projects to develop novel ideas further or collect pilot data rapidly before applying to granting agencies for funding. This protects intellectual properties and captures opportunities for discovery research. It also provides support for late phase translational research that is difficult to obtain funding by traditional means.
I am most grateful for the generous donations to the BC Cancer Foundation to support lung cancer research. The investment by many donors in human capital and infrastructure will bring about a significant improvement in the outcome of lung cancer patients by detecting lung cancer early and treating the disease more effectively.