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The BC Cancer Agency: A Great Place to Work

I’m lucky to love the work I do. International metrics show that we are providing excellent care for ovarian cancer patients here in B.C., and I’m so proud that the BC Cancer Agency has some of the best outcomes in the world for ovarian cancer, a significant area of our translational research. I believe that the best clinical care occurs when you combine it with translational research, allowing new findings to move from bench to bedside quickly. This structure also promotes a culture of working toward the best outcomes. I feel that we’ve done this very well in B.C. and it shows! When you work...

Hello from Dianne Miller

Thanks for that intro, Doug. I’m very pleased to be the BC Cancer Foundation’s guest blogger for the month of July and to share with you a bit about my work as the Head of Gynecologic Oncology and with OvCaRe at the BC Cancer Agency. I was born in Princeton, B.C. and because my father was in the mining industry, our family moved around to several B.C. towns during my youth. I spent my elementary school years in Greenwood (a town that recently won an award for the best drinking water in the world!) and attended Boundary Central High School in Midway before moving to Vancouver. I graduated from...

The Underwear Affair and Introducing Dr. Dianne Miller

Hi everyone, First, I’d like to say thank you to Dr. Sorensen for sharing a glimpse into his work with the BC Cancer Agency’s childhood cancer research program and the importance of the Ride to Conquer Cancer in funding breakthrough research in this area. And now, with the rainy days of spring finally behind us and the summer sun shining brightly, we’re getting ready for the Underwear Affair on July 7! The Underwear Affair helps uncover the cure for underfunded below-the-waist cancers like prostate, ovarian and colorectal, and with just three days until the event, now is the perfect time to...

Philanthropy, the Ride, and Looking Ahead

I believe strongly in the work we do at the BC Cancer Agency, and the BC Cancer Foundation has been extremely supportive of pediatric cancer research through the Ride to Conquer Cancer. I feel well supported in my research here and through my own participation in the Ride, I also feel close to the donor population. Dollars received from the Ride allow us to explore new areas of research. It is often challenging to obtain funding from external granting bodies for these types of high-risk but potentially high-reward projects, but I believe they ultimately lead to higher discovery rewards. For...

Pediatric Personalized Medicine Project and facing important questions

A short while ago, Dr. Aly Karsan blogged about the personalized medicine project. I am also involved in this project, but with a focus in pediatrics. The goal of the project is to probe the genomes, or DNA, of some of the most challenging childhood cancers known, to look at very high risk patients, sequence genomes of the patients to identify so-called actionable alterations, and determine if these alterations in the tumours are there are targetable. Ultimately, we hope this project will reveal better methods of individualizing treatment for pediatric patients. Funds raised from the BC...

Pediatric Cancer Research and Metastatic Diseases

Pediatric cancer research is gaining recognition as an area of excellence at the BC Cancer Agency. I touched on some of the reasons for this in my previous post, but I also wanted to emphasize that our success is due in no small part to the great community we have here at the BC Cancer Agency. One area we are really focused on in the Childhood Cancer Research Program is metastasis, or the movement of cancer from one location in the body to another. The outcomes for many childhood cancers haven’t changed much in the past 20 years, because many of them are metastatic diseases, the single...

Genomics is just the beginning

When I first started working in cancer genetics, we used old technologies to indentify genetic alterations in tumours. It was challenging work and we were often left in what felt like a no-man’s land. But the discoveries and disease-specific genetic alterations found then are now recognized world-wide as the drivers of those diseases. These days, the BC Cancer Agency Genome Sciences Centre (GSC) enables us to be much more efficient in modern cancer research. Having experienced the early days of discovery research, I know how important this work is and I appreciate the capability we have at...

My role and the BC Cancer Agency – it’s the place to be

Following my PhD, I completed my pathology training, and in doing so I became interested in cancer genetics. Prior to this, during medical fellowships in Minnesota and at USC in L.A., I had been exposed to pediatric pathology and childhood cancer research, and was immediately motivated by this area of work. After pinpointing these two areas of interest, I joined Children’s and Women’s Hospital in the Pathology department in the mid-1990’s. I tried combining research and clinical practice, but this was difficult to manage time-wise. I was then thrilled to be awarded the Asa and Kashmir Johal...

The power of people & the Ride to Conquer Cancer

The ride last weekend was amazing, once again. I think I’ve nearly recovered from the hills and the rain now. Here is a group photo of us at the last pit stop. These guys are truly inspiring. I mentioned earlier that I first rode with Team Finn in 2011. Although the weather was not on our side once again this year, the clouds parted in time for the last 20 km or so. It was breathtaking to ride the final few kilometers of the two-day ride with supporters clapping and cheering from the sidelines, as we rode in wearing our cool pink jerseys. It is always inspiring to see people come together to...

The 2012 Ride to Conquer Cancer

Hi everyone, Just a quick interruption of Dr. Sorensen’s posts to share exciting news: As many of you are aware, the Ride to Conquer Cancer took place this past weekend, and I am very pleased to report that the Ride has raised $11.2 million for research at the BC Cancer Agency, our highest total ever! Braving wet weather and aching muscles with high spirits, more than 3,000 riders crossed the finish line on Sunday. The smiling faces I saw out on the road were truly inspiring and clearly reflected the commitment of British Columbians to cancer research. We should all feel proud of what we have...

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