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Bringing world-class care closer to home

Philanthropy is essential as we continue our endeavours to discover innovative and more effective ways to combat cancer. Much of this is done in increments, rather than in big breakthroughs. With each project that we initiate, we are helping to solve part of a puzzle. And with each puzzle resolved, we add another building block to our understanding of this disease and to our ability to combat it more effectively. Many of the advances cancer patients are benefiting from today have been achieved from, and are based on results of, multi-center and multinational clinical trials, as well as small...

Leading research underway at BC Cancer Vancouver Island Centre

As regional medical director of the BC Cancer Vancouver Island Centre, I am very eager and motivated to create and maintain a nurturing environment for everyone at this center who desires to engage in knowledge generation, and for those whose mission is to advance research in all its stages and forms. I believe it is critically important that we maintain and grow the necessary infrastructure and the capacity to support every potential research project for the good of our patients and the benefit of future generations. These pursuits range from laboratory to clinical research, and from...

My journey to the BC Cancer Vancouver Island Centre

Hello, My name is Sam Kader and I’m excited to be blogging for the BC Cancer Foundation leading up to Jingle Mingle on November 30, proceeds from which will help advance research and enhance care at the BC Cancer, Vancouver Island Centre. My father was a high school biology teacher. He instilled in me a strong interest in science. When I was growing up, and was quite young then, perhaps about 12, I accidentally came across some of his textbooks and that got me interested in pursuing the field. That led me to medical school in Cairo, and years later, into internal medicine and oncology in...

Introducing November guest blogger Dr. Sam Kader

We are grateful to Dr. Stephen Chia for sharing with us the exciting developments in breast cancer research taking place at BC Cancer as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is inspiring to know that much of this life-saving work is possible thanks to the generosity of our donors. We are pleased to welcome to our blog Dr. Sam Kader, radiation oncologist and regional medical director at the BC Cancer Vancouver Island Centre, for the month of November. Dr. Kader oversees all facets of cancer research and care at the centre and will discuss how funds from this year's Jingle Mingle will help...

The future of breast cancer care in British Columbia

As I touched on last week, the importance of the BC Cancer Foundation and its donors cannot be overstated when it comes to fuelling new and more effective treatments for breast cancer. In large part because of this, I expect to see a significant shift in the way we diagnose, treat and manage patients facing this disease in British Columbia. Over the next ten years, I hope to see us begin using blood samples to profile a tumour. This will be significant as we can use this to identify where a patient’s cancer-causing gene abnormality is located and in which pathway, and then prescribe drugs to...

Clinical trials paving new path for breast cancer care in BC

One of the most exciting areas of breast cancer research is the study of genomics. Genomics is about understanding the genetic makeup of different cancers, in turn enabling us to develop targeted treatments for them. Through this kind of research, we can dive deep in terms of what is driving a patient’s cancer, how it will behave and how it might respond to certain treatments. Genomic research shown us how vastly different breast cancers are from one another and how patient-specific treatment options need to be. Our hope is that now, with the ability to sequence off of bioposies, we can...

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: A time to recognize research and care

Hello, my name is Dr. Stephen Chia and I am a medical oncologist here at BC Cancer, as well as the chair of the Provincial Breast Tumour Group. I’m excited to return to the blog this month for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s an important time of year to not only bring attention to the prevalence of breast cancer, but also to recognize the number of advancements that have been made to treat this disease across our province. Since I last blogged four years ago, significant strides have been made to improve breast cancer treatment and detection here at BC Cancer. We have been able to lead a...

Introducing October guest blogger Dr. Stephen Chia

We thank Dr. David Huntsman for updating us on team OVCARE and their mission to reduce ovarian cancer cases by 50 per cent within 15 years. I was truly inspired by the generosity displayed by our community at Hope Couture in support of this goal. Thanks to our donors, team OVCARE is better equipped than ever to curb this disease. We are pleased to welcome back to our blog Dr. Stephen Chia, medical oncologist at BC Cancer, for the month of October. Dr. Chia will describe the world-leading breast cancer research taking place at BC Cancer as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Thanks for...

Ovarian cancer research propelled by philanthropy

Much of the progress we have been able to achieve to date within the Ovarian Cancer Research (OVCARE) program has been possible thanks to our many partnerships. Indeed, mentioned in my first blog, the nature of OVCARE as a multi-disciplinary, multi-institution research group makes partnership inherent to our success. In fact, our partnerships extend beyond the medical and scientific communities to include patients their families and the philanthropic organizations that support us. Maintaining and building on these partnerships will be essential as we embark on our fifteen year plan of...

Dr. Huntsman: "It's an absence of a story that we want to create"

I was truly inspired by the outpouring of support at Hope Couture this week, where over $600,000 was raised for research into the prevention of ovarian cancer, specifically for the Ovarian Cancer Research (OVCARE) program. The London-themed luncheon reminded me of the very humble beginnings of OVCARE. What is now a world-leading, multi-disciplinary and multi-institution research group began at a Chinese restaurant over a decade ago thanks to the single-minded determination of Dr. Dianne Miller, our clinical leader. But OVCARE's rapid evolution from an idea of a team to one of the top three...

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