Premier Christy Clark announced Tuesday the province will give $3 million to the BC Cancer Foundation to help find unique cures for the hardest to beat cancers.
The money will be funnelled into the Personalized Onco-Genomics program, which allows scientists to decode the entire DNA inside the cell of each patient’s cancer to understand how it grows and to develop strategies to block it.
“The future of cancer care is personalized, leading to the best, targeted treatments for the most challenging cases – and we’ve already seen a number of success stories coming out of this program,” said Premier Clark in a statement.
“A growing, diverse economy gives us the ability to support the BC Cancer Foundation in spearheading significant research projects that cure illness, improve treatments, and save lives.”
Understanding the genetic makeup of each cancer patient’s tumours will allow targeted drug therapies that are specific for that person. It saves the patient the trials and tribulations of treatments that might not work.
The POG program allows each patient to have their own clinical trial.
Jen Strack is a non-smoker who was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer at the age of 41. She said this program has been invaluable for her.
“POG has been a huge blessing for me, it’s such an amazing program that the BC Cancer Agency offers and it’s given me life and hope,” she said in a release.
The province provided another $2 million to the BC Cancer Foundation last year for breast cancer research, and the results of the work done by the BC Cancer Agency will be showcased at the BC Tech Summit on January 18 to 19.
The money comes in the wake of a bit of bad luck for the BC Cancer Foundation. The provincial headquarters on West Broadway was ransacked on New Years Day and then again once more over the long weekend. Around $10,000 worth of computers and equipment was stolen.