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2016 Highlights

  • Based on evidence supported by researchers at the Women’s Health Research Institute and BC Cancer, BC updated its provincial cervical cancer screening policy to recommend that women between the ages of 25 to 69 get tested every three years instead of every two. Evidence-based screening policies have been shown to reduce women’s risk of cervical cancer by 70 per cent and testing women every three years instead of two years has been proven to be equally effective, while delivering valuable system savings.

  • Leading the way in personalized oncogenomics (POG), a clinical trial was begun for patients with incurable cancer to integrate genomic sequencing into diagnostic and treatment planning. POG is changing the way doctors and researchers think about the future of cancer care in that it treats cancers as a disease of genetic mutations, not according to where they originate in the body.
  • A new study led by scientists at BC Cancer, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, and the University of British Columbia (UBC) made a breakthrough in understanding the origin and development of cancer that occurs in the uterus and ovary simultaneously, substantiating an approach to managing the disease practiced by doctors in British Columbia.
  • An international study involving BC Cancer researchers discovered the genetic cause of a rare gastric condition that can lead to stomach cancer - three extremely rare genetic mutations that cause gastric adenocarcinoma and proximal polyposis of the stomach (GAPPS). The discovery means that, in future, individuals who have a family member with GAPPS will be able to have a DNA test to determine whether they will develop the condition and stomach cancer.   
  • Dr. Samuel Aparicio, Head of BC Cancer’s Department of Breast and Molecular Oncology and Canada Research Chair in Breast Cancer Research, was published in world-leading, peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature for a study mapping the relationship between mutations and clinical outcomes in 2,500 women. This study highlights that patients bearing the same mutations can have quite different underlying disease biology and prognosis.
  • New multi-gene analysis panels, the OncoPanel and Myeloid Panel, became available to oncologists and hematologists across British Columbia as provincial diagnostic tools, meaning a more personalized approach to treatment for thousands of eligible cancer patients. Tests of this kind are only available at the top few cancer care institutions in the world.
  • BC Cancer’s new digital mammography vehicle started its summer tour for women in Northern BC. It visited more than 37 Northern communities including Kitimat, Mackenzie and Tumbler Ridge over the summer.
  • BC Cancer's Late Effects, Assessment and Follow-up (LEAF) Clinic opened and began accepting patients.
  • BC Cancer had three scientists named to Thompson Reuter’s World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: Dr. Randy Gascoyne, research director, Centre for Lymphoid Research; Dr. Joseph M. Connors, clinical director, Centre for Lymphoid Research and Dr. Marco Marra, director of Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre and Distinguished Scientist.
  • Dr. Samuel Aparicio of BC Cancer was appointed as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada.

SOURCE: 2016 Highlights ( )
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