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

Pioneering Telegraph Cove whale watching company cast adrift after 38 years

Stubbs Island Whale Watching announced it is ceasing operation

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

VIJHL All-Star Weekend at the Brindy a ton of fun for players and fans alike

Campbell River Storm see eight players named to team North in Sunday’s best-of-the-best match-up

No injuries after collapsed floor traps worker at former mill in Campbell River – fire chief

Company says it’s investigating after incident at decommissioned Catalyst facility

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay voted into Baseball Hall of Fame

M’s legend Edgar Martinez, Rivera, Mussina also make the grade

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Most Read