This week, the BC Cancer Foundation has just received an extremely generous, anonymous donation of $18.346 million in the form of a philanthropic grant. The funds are going to be used to advance new types of treatment for cancers that have historically been extremely difficult to treat.
“Today marks an important moment in cancer research and care in Canada with one of the largest donations ever made to bring new treatment solutions to patients. The $18.346 million is grounded in hope and science with an opportunity to save lives here in B.C., across the country and globe,” says Sarah Roth, president & CEO, BC Cancer Foundation.
The announcement quoted a shocking growth rate in new cancer cases to grow 40 per cent over the next decade, largely due to a growing and aging population.
With this funding secured, plans have been set to establish BC Cancer’s Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics program under the leadership of Dr. François Bénard.
The first treatment trials will focus on radioligand therapy (RLT), which differs from chemotherapy in that it is only delivered to the cancer cells. This allows a much higher concentration, greater effectiveness, and with less side effect to other tissues. “Evidence for the effectiveness of RLT shows a clear benefit for prostate and thyroid cancer, neuroendocrine and liver tumours, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, bone metastases and other diseases,” says the original press release.
“With these game-changing funds, our team at BC Cancer can address the urgent need to improve outcomes for thousands of people in our province who are diagnosed with incurable cancer each year,” says Dr. Bénard.