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Philanthropy fuels progress for pancreatic cancer research

August 1, 2017

In my previous blog I discussed some of the exciting research happening in pancreatic cancer led by our group at the BC Cancer Agency and Pancreas Centre BC.  It’s safe to say that none of this would be possible without the very generous donors of the BC Cancer Foundation.   When I came to the BC Cancer Agency several years ago, a major fundraising initiative by the Foundation helped create the Pancreas Centre BC. Donor support helped generate an explosion of pancreatic cancer research in BC, making us now a national leader in this area.

The 10th annual Glotman-Simpson Cypress Challenge, which takes place Aug 13th, is an incredible event.  In addition to being a major source of fundraising for research leading to personalized therapy in pancreatic cancer, it is also an event about hope and optimism.  For many years these words would never be associated with this disease, but with emerging research and new therapies in development, there is now a lot of hope that this will change in the very near future.  Patients, friends and families, members of the multidisciplinary pancreatic cancer clinical and research teams, and cycling enthusiasts all come together and the energy from the event is truly an inspiration.  I would strongly encourage anyone reading this post to do the ride, or come cheer on the riders!

I’m optimistic and excited about the future of pancreatic cancer therapy.  We are starting to make strides in terms of understanding the biology of this cancer and how we can target specific weakness of individual cancers.  In addition there are many new drugs currently in clinical trials.  As technology improves hopefully we are not far off from being able to detect these cancers earlier, at the stage where they would still be curable with surgery.

Thanks for reading my blogs, I hope you found them informative.  Despite minimal progress in the development of new treatments up until now, due to significant progress in our understanding of pancreatic cancer biology, the time is now for significant developments in the detection and treatment of this disease.