Found: an Achilles Heel of Blood Cancers

Dr. Keith Humphries and researchers from the BC Cancer Agency’s Terry Fox Lab pinpoint a previously unknown gene —MEISI— as a susceptible target for combating many forms of leukemia. Dr. Humphries discovered that MEIS1 allows normal cells in the bone marrow to transform into cancerous cells. When the researchers remove MEIS1 from leukemic cells in the lab, they are able to stop very aggressive...

Scientists target enzyme and halt spread of deadly breast cancer tumours with novel drugs

Researchers at the BC Cancer Agency discover a significant connection between the spread of breast cancer and a natural enzyme, called CA9. This discovery proves CA9 is a major target in tumour survival and growth in over 50 per cent of the deadliest forms of breast cancer and 16 per cent of all breast cancers – researchers can now halt the spread of these tumours through the use of novel drugs.

Researchers discover how cancer cheats immune system

BC Cancer Agency team finds clues in two lymphoma types
March 2, 2011, Vancouver, BC – BC Cancer Agency scientists have discovered that a single gene, CIITA, is implicated in almost 40 per cent of primary mediastinal B-cell lymphomas (a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma) and 15 per cent of all Hodgkin lymphoma cases. The groundbreaking discovery, published today in the international science and medical journal Nature, identifies for the first time a...

Scientists discover first breast cancer 'oncogene' for five years

Dr. Sam Aparicio, the Agency’s head of breast cancer research, co-led a UK-based study that discovered a new cancer-causing gene, ZNF703, that when overactive, triggers the development of a particularly aggressive type of breast cancer. Patients could be tested for ZNF703 over activity, so their treatment could be tailored accordingly, and larger studies could pave the way for developing...

B.C.’s cancer survival rates bode well in international comparison

December 21, 2010, Vancouver, BC – B.C. has encouraging survival outcomes in breast and ovarian cancer, taking top rank in a comprehensive data study that compares 12 jurisdictions from six nations with similar wealth and universal access to healthcare. In addition, B.C. colorectal and lung cancer patients have seen considerable increases in survival over the past decade. “Cancer survival is a...

Research moving us closer to personalized medicine

Researchers with the BC Cancer Agency’s Genome Sciences Centre developed two new approaches – ALEXASeq and Trans-ABySS – to characterize how the information in genes is expressed. These modes represent significant steps towards cost-effective surveying of all genetic information in a tumour, moving us closer to personalized medicine.

BC researchers uncover new ovarian cancer gene — ARID1A

Researchers with the Ovarian Cancer Research (OvCaRe) program at the BC Cancer Agency and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute found a major new tumour-suppressing gene — ARID1A. Mutations are frequent in this gene and inhibit the gene’s suppressing abilities in two types of ovarian cancer — clear cell carcinoma and endometrioid carcinoma.

Ovarian cancer researchers request practice changes to protect against ovarian cancer

VANCOUVER, BC - Gynecologic oncologists with the Ovarian Cancer Research Program at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and the BC Cancer Agency have begun an important campaign that will reduce deaths from ovarian cancer. They are asking all BC gynecologists to change surgical practice to fully remove the fallopian tube when performing hysterectomy or tubal ligation. Current practice leaves the...