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

Kent looking to replace Ferny Coombe pool with indoor facility

The facility being built is dependent on grant funding from the province and federal government

Escape room brings ‘out of the box’ activity to Agassiz

AESS alumni and teacher developed the concept to bring teamwork-based entertainment to the town

Prices still rising, Chilliwack real estate back in balanced territory

Local market is steadier compared to points west with higher increase in average sale price

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Relationships, continuity top health-care concerns for Agassiz residents

Feedback during Fraser Health events showed access to health care needs to improve

First Nation supporters march to Horgan’s MLA office

Dozens marched across the Greater Victoria community of Langford to support the Wet’suwet’en people

Dog shot in foot with BB gun during cellphone sale at SkyTrain station

William Ayers, 28, is facing a number of charges after incident in Burnaby

Condo rental bans on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

Kentucky canoe outfit borrows photo of Trudeau family to market business

They are in a red canoe, all clad in life jackets, and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Ella-Grace are waving

Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson ‘feeling good’ after knee injury

Pettersson said he wasn’t feeling any pain during Wednesday’s skate

Ratfish generates social media buzz on Vancouver Island

Boneless, glowing creature a common bycatch, but it usually stays in deep waters – fish expert

UPDATE: Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Most Read