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

Ferry connecting Port Hardy and Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

BC Parks Student Ranger Program accepting applications for 2019 season

12 crews of four student rangers will work in regions throughout the province including Bella Coola.

Over $650,00 given to rural communities thanks to Rural Dividends

Five communities, including Williams Lake, are receiving $10,000 for project grants

Pregnant Cariboo firefighter tries to save own house from blaze

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Road report for Highway 20

Fog patches and slippery sections; Drive BC

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

B.C. woman planned to donate a kidney to her husband, then found out she has cancer

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Most Read