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How researchers can detect cancer risk in breath

While lung cancer continues to be among the deadliest diseases today, we know this will change as we find new and more effective ways to detect it earlier. Indeed, we estimate that approximately 80 per cent of those with lung cancer may survive if caught at an earlier stage. As we look toward the future, there are many projects in the works that will help achieve this aim. Using the breath to detect cancer risk With generous support from the BC Cancer Foundation and its donors, we hope to establish what we call a Breathomics laboratory that will detect cancer risk in the breath. The body...

Pollution accounts for 23% of lung cancer deaths, research finds

By next year, we project that lung cancer will be the fifth highest killer among all cancer and non-cancer diseases across Canada. Only about 18 per cent of patients survive five years or more, simply because symptoms often don’t show until it’s too late. With our research, we know that lung cancer is treated earlier – before it spreads outside the air passages – we can change this. We project that over 80 per cent of those with early lung cancer - what we call Stage IA - can survive if the disease is caught early and treatment started. Cynthia’s story: highlighting the importance of early...

Asian women more at risk for lung cancer, research finds

Hello, My name is Dr. Stephen Lam. I'm a distinguished scientist at BC Cancer and the Leon Judah Blackmore Foundation chair in lung cancer research. I'm also the MDS - Rix endowed director of translation lung cancer research and chair of the Provincial Lung Tumour Group at BC Cancer. It has been three years since I last blogged for the BC Cancer Foundation. I am thrilled to report back on the progress we've made to advance research for this disease since. Lung cancer remains deadly, but progress on horizon Lung cancer remains among the deadliest and most prevalent cancers in B.C., Canada and...

Introducing February guest blogger Dr. Stephen Lam

Thank you to Dr. Poul Sorensen for sharing his translational efforts in pediatric cancer research with our community. It is always inspiring to hear how donor-funded research continues to make a tangible difference in the lives of those affected by cancer. I am pleased to welcome Dr. Stephen Lam, distinguished scientist and Leon Judah Blackmore Chair in lung cancer research, back to our blog for February. Dr. Lam’s most recent efforts have uncovered women of Asian descent to be up to several times more susceptible to lung cancer than men in cities with poor air quality. He will explain these...

How donors catalyze cancer research & care

I can’t overstate the importance of philanthropy in our efforts to research new and more effective treatments for cancer. It would be easy enough for granting agencies to deny funding based on a disease being rare. But it’s clear, based on our most recent findings, that this is the wrong approach. If you spearhead science for the sake of discovery, then you really can uncover things that have a broad application that you wouldn’t have been able to find had you followed purely where the money is. This is where Foundation donors play such a key part, as they are really instrumental in our quest...

STRESS SIGNALLING IN TUMOUR CELLS

Last week I told you about a breakthrough discovery that lead to the development of a new drug that targets 22 different types of cancers. This week I am eager to share about another exciting development our team has been focusing on: stress signalling in tumour cells. In particular, how tumour cells adapt to stress. The idea is that when tumour cells grow in a certain environment, that environment then has the capability to ‘stress’ the tumour cells – for example, there might not be enough oxygen, there might be an immune cell attack or DNA damaging agents that then activate the stress...

TWO DECADES OF DISCOVERY IMPACTS 22 TYPES OF CANCERS

Hello, My name is Dr. Poul Sorensen and I am a distinguished scientist at BC Cancer. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be blogging once again and share some exciting developments in childhood cancer research. One of our most significant breakthroughs involved a gene mutation in a rare pediatric cancer that was originally discovered in our lab back in 1998. Twenty years of progress later, that original discovery has now led to a new drug called Larotrectinib – just recently FDA approved in 2018– that targets at least 22 different types of cancers. To see two decades worth of research...

Introducing January guest blogger Dr. Poul Sorensen

Thank you to Dr. Malcolm Moore for returning to the blog to share his vision for cancer care in British Columbia. It is thrilling to hear of the progress that is taking place for families across the province, and how our donors will play a critical role in raising the standard of care over the next several years. I am pleased to welcome back to our blog Dr. Poul Sorensen, distinguished scientist at BC Cancer, for the month of January. Dr. Sorensen will share the latest developments in childhood cancer research and how this world-leading breakthrough will impact patients. Thanks for reading,...

This is what cancer care will look like in the future

I’m often asked about the future of cancer in B.C. – and about BC Cancer’s future key areas of focus. When I first blogged, back in mid-December, I mentioned the critical need for a plan that will guide us for the next several years. That’s because we know what the cancer volumes will look like in 10 years, and beyond. We know the number of people being diagnosed with cancer is rising steadily. We know that, thanks to advances in research, diagnostics and treatments, people are living longer with cancer. We know we don’t have the infrastructure to accommodate this coming cancer “tsunami.” So...

A year-in-review: the extraordinary impact of philanthropy

When you look at 2018 for BC Cancer through a philanthropic lens, it has been a great year. I’ll start with the bike ride – the 10th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer. I’ve participated in the Ride for many years and it is a truly extraordinary event. In past years we crossed the border at the Peach Arch and rode to Seattle. But we decided this year that the Ride would stay in Canada – an overnight in Chilliwack, then on to Hope. But then the Fraser Valley, like other parts of B.C., was on fire. A few days before the Ride, we weren’t even sure we’d be able to hold the event. The rain came,...

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