EDITORIAL: Cancer research happening in our backyard

B.C. Cancer Agency professionals doing groundbreaking work

Members of the West Shore Chamber of Commerce, including staff from the Gazette, were treated to an amazing presentation last week on the goings-on at the Victoria-based Deeley Research Centre, an integral part of the B.C. Cancer Agency.

The research being conducted by a team of professionals led by Dr. Brad Nelson, laid out by him in easy to understand terminology, offered us hope that a natural treatment for ovarian cancer and other forms of this disease is within sight. Hearing Nelson describe advances being made locally in immunology, the study of the body’s immune system, gave a sense that one day soon patients will have the capacity to kill off potentially deadly cancer cells with a natural, drug and radiation-free solution located in their own bodies.

Written here by a medical layperson, such an idea might sound as if we’re hawking some unscientifically proven solution much like the countless cures marketed on the Web. But this is real science, and it’s important that people be made aware of the groundbreaking work taking place right in our own backyard.

To give an idea of just how respected and thorough Nelson and his team are, he was recently awarded a major grant to continue this work, beating out a medical research team from Harvard University, among others.

All this is to say that if you are considering places to donate your money for long-term good, the B.C. Cancer Foundation, which helps fund the research centre, might not be a bad place to start. Donor dollars will get the research being done there over the hump – in other words, treatments being studied will move from the laboratory testing stage to become a standard of care funded by the B.C. Health Ministry. Dave Saunders, whose car dealership hosted last week’s event, is a staunch supporter of the Foundation and presented Nelson with a $1,000 cheque courtesy the Saunders Family Foundation.

Cancer has or will affect all of us, in one way or another. It’s nice to know work is being done nearby that will, likely in many of our lifetimes, diminish the chances that one or more types of the disease will strike in our own families.