Pritchard Family donates $200,000 to BC Cancer Foundation to boost research

November 6, 2012

Found in News

KELOWNA, B.C. – The Colin & Lois Pritchard Foundation has made a generous gift of $200,000 to the BC Cancer Foundation to kick start an innovative breast cancer treatment pilot at the BC Cancer Agency Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Centre for the Southern Interior.

The pilot project is researching High-Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy for breast cancer, and aims to improve patient convenience and reduce side effects through more targeted and precise methods of treatment. HDR Brachytherapy is an emerging cancer treatment that sends a precise dose of radiation directly to a patient’s tumour through tiny catheters, and reduces treatment time by 2.5 weeks compared to conventional radiotherapy for breast cancer.

The family was inspired to support cancer research at the BC Cancer Agency after learning more about what some women experience with breast cancer. “We knew this was a quality investment, and we are happy to support the life-saving cancer research happening in our community. We are comforted to know that patients are in excellent care here, and we hope one day this new type of treatment becomes a mainstream option for patients with breast cancer,” says Alison Moscrop, Director, The Colin & Lois Pritchard Foundation, and daughter of Colin and Lois.

A portion of their gift will also support a partnership with the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine’s Southern Medical Program, to provide medical students an opportunity to participate in this exciting research project.

“With the support of philanthropic leaders like The Colin & Lois Pritchard Foundation, the innovative cancer research happening at the BC Cancer Agency can continue to open new doors of possibility and enhance patient care,” says Douglas Nelson, President & CEO, BC Cancer Foundation. 2,800 British Columbians will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and leading-edge research like HDR Brachytherapy provides hope for improved treatments in the future.

The project evolved from the HDR Brachytherapy pilot for prostate cancer that was supported by the BC Cancer Foundation’s Discovery Luncheon event last year; to research an improved method of treatment for advanced prostate cancer patients using HDR Brachytherapy. The successful pilot project treated 25 men with advanced stages of prostate cancer and is presently working on its third research project aimed at improving the treatment.

The Colin & Lois Pritchard Foundation hopes their gift will inspire others to support cancer research happening at the BC Cancer Agency. You can support leading-edge cancer research like these projects, by joining the BC Cancer Foundation’s second annual Discovery Luncheon on November 14, 2012 at the Coast Capri Hotel in Kelowna. Last year’s Luncheon raised more than $50,000 for the original HDR Brachytherapy projects. This year the Luncheon is raising funds for the PREDICT project, that  that will enable more rapid advancements in cancer patient care in British Columbia’s Southern Interior, for generations to come.

For more information about the Discovery Luncheon please visit www.bccancerfoundation.com/events.

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For more information, please contact:

Cynthia Waldek-Peters
BC Cancer Foundation, Kelowna
t. 250.712.3910
c. 250.575.0734
e. cwaldekpeters@bccancer.bc.ca

Allison Colina
BC Cancer Foundation, Communications
t. 604.707.5934
e. allison.colina@bccancer.bc.ca