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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...

Teamwork drives ovarian cancer research

Hello, My name is Dr. David Huntsman and it is a pleasure to return as guest blogger for the BC Cancer Foundation. It has been several years since my last blog, and a lot has happened with regard to ovarian cancer research at the BC Cancer Agency. British Columbia’s Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OVCARE) first began over a dinner conversation with my colleague Dr. Dianne Miller, the head of gynecological oncology at the BC Cancer Agency. She was tired of seeing women dying from ovarian cancer and demanded that clinicians and researchers work more effectively as a team to put an end to this...

Introducing September guest blogger Dr. David Huntsman

We are grateful to Dr. Kim Chi for sharing with us the remarkable advancements in prostate cancer research that have taken place at BC Cancer thanks to our generous donor community. It was inspiring cycling alongside Dr. Chi at this year’s British Columbia Ride to Conquer Cancer and to hear him discuss the tangible difference we are making in the lives cancer patients and their families through this event. We are pleased to welcome back to our blog Dr. David Huntsman, director of BC Cancer’s Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OVCARE), for the month of September. Dr. Huntsman will discuss the...

BC Cancer: a global leader in cancer discovery

For my last blog, I thought I would write about the future. But first I’d like to talk about the past. I started my career as an oncologist 20 years ago. At that time, it was all about chemotherapy. But since then, we’ve seen incredible advancements in targeted therapy with drugs designed to inhibit pathways activated by cancers that help them grow, divide and spread. In the last few years, we’ve also seen major advancements in immunotherapy - harnessing the body’s immune system to recognize and target the cancer. When I started, we had one drug treatment for advanced prostate cancer that was...

BC Ride propels prostate cancer research

The support of the BC Cancer Foundation and, by extension its generous donors, have been instrumental in our research successes to date. An example is our work on liquid biopsies for men with advanced prostate cancer. For these men, understanding the genetic profile of their cancer is important to try and develop personalized or precision medicine strategies, where we tailor treatment to a particular patient and the individual make-up of their cancer. This is usually done with a biopsy, but for men with advanced prostate cancer where the cancer typically metastasizes to the bone, this is...

Cutting-edge research driven by patient experience

Holding leadership roles at the BC Cancer Agency means that much of my time is spent in meetings and teleconference calls. This may sound boring, but meeting with other physicians and health care practitioners is essential to delivering state-of-the-art, quality oncology care with a patient-centred approach, which is very important to all of us the BC Cancer Agency. But what does ‘a patient-centred’ approach actually mean? For me, it's making sure that our patients can access proven effective treatments as well as the most promising clinical trials; that the systems are in place to make sure...

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