BC Cancer - Victoria

BC Cancer – Victoria is one of six regional cancer centres. People treated here have some of the best cancer survival outcomes in the world. At BC Cancer – Victoria, patients on Vancouver Island have access to:

  • world-class comprehensive cancer care and treatment close to home
  • vital supportive care services ranging from genetic counseling, to nutrition and spiritual guidance, all offered in a cohesive and comforting space


Located in Victoria, B.C., the Deeley Research Centre (DRC) is one of the first sites in the world to pioneer an immunotherapy research program that uses genomic approaches to generate more precise and potent immune responses against cancer.


External beam radiotherapy is typically delivered to patients 28 to 38 daily “fractions.”

Recent research suggests that stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR), which is more technically advanced than external beam, can be delivered in five to seven fractions with the same success rate and side effects.

While the SABR technique is promising, there have been no published results to date comparing SABR directly with the standard external beam radiotherapy.

In 2016, scientists at BC Cancer – Victoria launched ASSERT 1, a Phase II clinical trial to compare the benefits of two radiotherapy techniques: stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR) and external beam radiotherapy – ASSERT 1 accrued 80 participants.

ASSERT 2 aims to estimate the side effects of SABR to design a larger study in the future. It builds on the success of ASSERT 1 by recruiting an additional 120 participants. Led by Dr. Abraham Alexander at BC Cancer – Victoria, results from this trial hold the potential to transform the delivery of radiotherapy in B.C. and around the world.

Today, radiation oncologist and head of the radiation therapy department, Dr. Elaine Wai, is feeling very optimistic about innovative therapies that involve SABR.

"Previously we were treating lung cancer patients every day over four-six weeks, on average they would receive 20 treatments," says Dr. Wai. "Now, they come every other day for a week, receiving only 4 treatments." 


Deeley Research Centre Director Dr. Brad Nelson and his team are joining forces with experts at BC Cancer’s Genome Sciences Centre in Vancouver to deliver truly personalized immunotherapy to patients in B.C.

Adoptive T Cell Therapy (ACT) is one of the most promising forms of immunotherapy. ACT clinical trials have the potential to save the lives of British Columbians facing all types of cancer. Three trials for reproductive and blood cancers are set to launch imminently:

  1. TIL (Tumour infiltrating lymphocytes) trial
  2. CAR-T (chimeric antigen receptor T cell) trial
  3. Lymphoma trial

Learn more about ACT clinical trials happening at BC Cancer

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For more information, please contact:

Karen Frost
Senior Development Officer, 
BC Cancer Foundation
PH: 250.519.5554