BC Cancer gets anonymous $18M donation

Second-largest donation in the foundation’s history to be used for new program

The BC Cancer Foundation has received a record-breaking $18.3-million anonymous donation.

“It is the largest donation in the BC Cancer foundation’s history,” said CEO Sarah Roth at a news conference in Vancouver on Wednesday. “The second largest donation to cancer in our province and one of the largest donations to cancer in our country.”

The funding will be used to expand care for people suffering from metastatic cancer.

“This gift will create a new program at BC Cancer called the molecular imaging and therapeutics program,” Roth said.

“This game-changing program will bring lifesaving solutions to people who are facing an incurable cancer, where there is little to no hope.”

BC Cancer projects that more than 28,000 people in B.C. will be diagnosed with cancer in 2019, a number that is expected to grow to nearly 40,000 by 2031.

READ MORE: Kelowna oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

READ MORE: B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

READ MORE: B.C. cancer patient’s case exposes gaps in care for homeless people

Dr. Francois Benard, who will lead the new initiative, said the donation will build on the work of the functional imaging program, which has already provided scans to 72,000 British Columbians over the past dozen years.

“It will support infrastructure, a scale-up of activities, scientific development of radioactive isotope treatments and launch a series of clinical trials,” Benard said.

According to BC Cancer, the new therapies will be especially helpful for prostate and thyroid cancer, neuroendocrine and liver tumours, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and bone metastases and other diseases.

The funds will be used to further develop “smart drugs” that can both detect and treat cancer by specifically honing in on affected cells.

He said because the radiation used in smart drugs is injected systemically, the treatment will reach everywhere in the body and can be used to treat metastatic cancer instead of localized cancer.

Metastatic cancer has long been considered more deadly and harder to treat than cancer that hasn’t spread, he said.

Although the new treatment was still experimental and “not a miracle cure,” Benard said, it offered hope to patients who before had no real treatment options available.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Comox Valley Operation Christmas Child shoebox drive entering final days

Deadline for donations is Saturday, November 17

Agreement signed to purchase, restore, manage Kus-kus-sum

A memorandum of understanding has been officially signed to purchase, restore and… Continue reading

Cumberland moves one step closer to single-use plastic ban

Council discussed a phased ban, starting with plastic bags and straws

Police investigate liquor store robbery in Courtenay

On Nov. 13 at approximately 12:30 p.m., the Comox Valley RCMP received… Continue reading

School District 71 board sworn in

A new four-year term for the school district Board of Education commenced… Continue reading

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Most Read