Colorectal cancer in B.C.

Colorectal cancer is the most common cancer to affect both men and women in B.C. This year alone over 3,200 individuals will be diagnosed and undergo treatment in our province. Research is critical to improve survival rates for these cancers.

When colon cancer is detected at its earliest stage, the chance of survival is over 90 per cent. In B.C. individuals aged 55-74 should speak with their doctor about the FIT screening test. For more information, visit

Precision colon cancer care

With donor support, Dr. Hagen Kennecke and Dr. Aly Karsan developed an “oncopanel” to test for genetic markers that may indicate the best treatments for metastatic colorectal cancer patients.

The oncopanel pilot study is now open at the BC Cancer Agency across the province and 75 patients have been enrolled with capacity for up to 400 patients.

Colorectal cancer research

In addition, numerous projects are underway to improve the understanding of colon cancer development, recurrence, and response to treatment. Thanks to donor support, a number of studies are currently in progress, addressing:

  • Outcomes of adjuvant chemotherapy in elderly patients with stage III colorectal cancer;
  • Palliative chemotherapy patterns in elderly patients with metastatic colorectal cancer;
  • Impact of community size on staging, treatment and outcomes in rectal cancer;
  • Prognostic models for advanced colorectal cancer;
  • Staging and prognostic factors for neuroendocrine tumours of the small bowel, colon, appendix and rectum;
  • Evaluation of factors that predict a high risk of recurrence in stage II colon cancer patients

Colon cancer breakthroughs

  • A patient with advanced colon cancer has seen remarkable progress after the Personalized Onco-Genomics Program identified a high blood pressure drug to treat her disease.
  • BC Cancer Agency researchers identified a link between a common microorganism and colon cancer. They found that Fusobacterium is found more often in colon cancer tissue than normal tissue.

Support advances in colorectal cancer care.

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