Partners in Discovery blog is moving today!

September 7, 2011

This is an exciting post for me — it’s a day of new beginnings for the online community of the BC Cancer Foundation. I invite you all to experience our new website which now also houses our Partners in Discovery blog, here is the new blog address:

New Partners in Discovery Blog:

We have redesigned our entire website with a brand new look and lots of exciting content. The new site allows you to more easily explore and discover information about the BC Cancer Foundation and the BC Cancer Agency. You can now connect with the BC Cancer Foundation online in multiple ways by viewing inspiring donor stories throughout the site — including video.

You can also learn more about your donations at work, view our calendar of upcoming events, or learn about the different ways that you can help raise funds for the BC Cancer Foundation.

Please bookmark our website and our new blog address to stay up to date with the latest posts from our guest bloggers:

NOTE: The transition to our new website may require a full day for the move to take full effect. If you are unable to see our new website, like the above image, then please return again in a few hours to view the new site.

Thank you for reading,



Dr. Huntsman and looking to the future of OvCaRe – an internationally recognized team

August 29, 2011

Our first five-year plan for the Ovarian Cancer Research program (OvCaRe) is nearly complete. During these first five years, OvCaRe has grown from an idea into an internationally recognized team. We have exceeded all of our expectations of the program’s success. I believe this is because of the collaborative spirit that exists within our team and the firm partnership we have established with our patients and the BC Cancer Foundation.

We have a new five-year plan now Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. David Huntsman and the success of OvCaRe

August 19, 2011

Since the beginning of the Ovarian Cancer Research (OvCaRe) program, the team has expanded; we have multiple new investigators, and have won national and international awards.

We have grown from a small group of researchers and disconnected research projects to a coherent team that is recognized internationally as a leader in the study of ovarian cancer. I believe our success stems from three things. Read the rest of this entry »

Weekend to End Women’s Cancers

August 16, 2011

Just a small interruption of Dr. David Huntsman’s blogging to share some news from this past weekend…

A total of 800 participants raised over $2 million for research into women’s cancers at the Shoppers Drug Mart® Weekend to End Women’s Cancers™!

On behalf of the BC Cancer Foundation, thank you to all the participants and supporters who made it an inspiring weekend. It was a two-day journey of hope, healing, celebration and optimism.

As a walker myself, I know these feelings are what propel Weekend  walkers to keep walking, and it is these feelings that will keep us committed to cancer research with or without our walking shoes on. After an amazing eight years, this Weekend was our last; however, it will not be the last journey we take to help make a difference in the lives of those living with cancer. The time has come for us to collectively celebrate what this event has enabled — recognize it as a catalyst for introducing new events and donors to our cause. After this weekend, we will be putting our energy and resources into existing events such as the Ride to Conquer Cancer and new ones on the horizon… so stay tuned!

And remember that the end of the Weekend does not mark the end of the innovative and groundbreaking work of the BC Cancer Agency being conducted by such people as Dr. Sam Aparicio and this month’s blogger, Dr. Huntsman. Their research into breast and ovarian cancer, respectively, is helping change the face of cancer in B.C. Weekend fundraising efforts have helped provide over $20 million to BC Cancer Agency research since it was first introduced eight years ago.

From the bottom of our hearts, a big thanks goes out to everyone who has made the Weekend such an amazing event these past eight years and working toward an end to women’s cancers.



Dr. David Huntsman and the modest beginning of OvCaRe

August 11, 2011

I still remember when the Ovarian Cancer Research (OvCaRe) program was born. Dr. Dianne Miller, the head of our Gynecologic Tumour Group at the BC Cancer Agency, had called a meeting for anyone in Vancouver who was interested in studying ovarian cancer. We met at a Chinese restaurant, and after dinner, Dianne declared that she was so tired of seeing women dying of this cancer and felt that if we work together we could really do something about it.

Read the rest of this entry »

About Dr. David Huntsman and ovarian cancer research

August 5, 2011

Hello! My name is David Huntsman, and I’m a pathologist and clinical cancer geneticist at the BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Centre. I have the great privilege of running our Ovarian Cancer Research (OvCaRe) team, and this month I’d like to share more about the OvCaRe program with you, from how it started to where it’s headed. First, I’ll share how and why I chose to study ovarian cancer. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Events and Introducing Dr. David Huntsman

August 3, 2011

We are in the full swing of summer now and questionable weather or not, this time of year always brings many great fundraising events. Thank you to those of you who have supported a friend, colleague, or family member in their fundraising for the BC Cancer Foundation and breakthrough research at the BC Cancer Agency.

Here are just a few of the events happening this month:

The 2011 Victoria Dragon Boat Festival (August 12 – 14)
The Weekend to End Women’s Cancers (August 13th/ 14th)
The 4th Annual Cypress Challenge (August 20th)
The BC Cancer Foundation Golf Classic in Memory of Sindi Hawkins (August 26th) Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Robert Olson – Expanding cancer care to the north and beyond

July 27, 2011

My role as a radiation oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North will continue to include treating cancer patients mostly with radiation therapy and other treatments as needed.

It is important for us to be mindful of, and work hard to understand, any cultural differences when treating and following patients. Northern B.C. communities include a much larger aboriginal population than the rest of B.C. Important work by others in Northern B.C. and at the BC Cancer Agency have identified cultural differences to be aware of when providing cancer screening, treatments and follow-up care. Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Robert Olson prepares to join the Centre for the North

July 19, 2011

Near the end of my residency, I was invited to relocate to the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North as part of a provincial Radiation Therapy Program and be its first radiation oncologist as well an academic physician involved in the Northern Medical Program.

From a personal perspective, the move toPrince Georgeappeals to my wife and I because we have always wanted to raise our family of three children in a smaller community – just as we experienced growing up. Professionally, I see a lot of cancer research interest and opportunity in the northern region, and I want to help make patient care more accessible to some of the remote communities up north. Read the rest of this entry »

About Dr. Robert Olson, Radiation Oncologist, BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North

July 12, 2011

My name is Rob Olson, and I would like start by thanking you for reading my first ever blog post.

From a young age, I have always wanted to pursue medicine – drawn by the opportunity to blend humanitarianism and academic pursuits. I am originally from a small town in Albertaand attended the University of Calgary for my undergraduate and medical degrees. Right from the beginning of medical school I was interested in helping patients with cancer and was originally drawn to the chemotherapy side of care and research. I was then introduced to radiation oncology, where the mix of curative and strong palliative care components of the specialization had me hooked.

As a result, I pursued specialist academic training in Radiation Oncology and chose to do so at the University of British Columbia, mainly because of the world renowned BC Cancer Agency. During my residency, I discovered the strong research potential of the Agency and was given the opportunity to run several trials, which opened the doors for me to become both a clinician and a researcher.

While the research potential and technical side of this field appeals to my academic interests, I find helping people in their greatest time of need to be a rewarding experience. When patients first arrive at the Agency to receive care, they become more at ease knowing we are here to help them in every step of their journey. They are often surprised by the large group of individuals who are here to support them, including clerical staff, nurses, oncologists, oncology residents, radiation therapists, counsellors, and very friendly and capable volunteers. To me, it seems as if the BC Cancer Agency staff and volunteers form a large welcome hug of support. I find that very inspiring.