February 4 is World Cancer Day—a global initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control. Patients, families, communities, clinicians, researchers and others are joining together to raise awareness and to act.

Here at Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre at BC Cancer, we are making significant strides in realizing the benefit of genomics in researching, understanding, diagnosing and treating cancer.

  • Our Personalized OncoGenomics program studies the impact of embedding genomic sequencing into real-time treatment planning for B.C. patients with otherwise incurable metastatic cancers.
  • We develop novel easy-to-administer tests that identify individuals at the earliest, most curable stages of colorectal cancer—the second leading cause of cancer-related death in Canada.
  • We study the genetic basis of cancer susceptibility and healthy aging by analyzing genomic data from healthy individuals 85 years of age and older.
  • We identify and characterize regulators of autophagy, investigate the roles of autophagy during normal development and cancer progression, and evaluate the therapeutic potential of autophagy modulation for cancer treatment.
  • We use bioinformatics to investigate the landscape of mutations present in cancer genomes and the early genomic events that give rise to and promote the progression of cancer.
  • We work to understand the role of epigenetics in cancer and to investigate the therapeutic potential of interventions directed at epigenetic processes.
  • We study the regulatory mechanisms of aberrant RNA processing in cancer.
  • We engineer T cells as immunotherapies to enhance tumour cell killing and to overcome immune resistance, and in combination with novel approaches like oncolytic viruses.
  • We work to understand the mechanisms of Lenalidomide resistance in Myelodysplastic Syndromes, as well as to potentially provide strategies to overcome or bypass resistance.
  • We have identified driver mutations that contribute to some features of Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas using data-driven comprehensive methods that allow identification of non-coding mutations relevant to malignancy.
  • We have discovered and optimized small molecule drugs targeting the disordered region of the android receptor, providing hope for patients with treatment-resistant prostate cancer.
  • We develop tools and software that enable researchers around the world to analyze cancer genomes and transcriptomes.
  • We have developed methods for circulating tumour DNA analysis of prostate cancer from minimally invasive blood samples.
  • We are striving to ensure equity in genomics research and that no one is excluded from the benefits of precision medicine.

Visit www.worldcancerday.org/take-action to learn about how you can get involved with World Cancer Day 2021. And visit www.bccancerfoundation.com to learn how you can contribute to cancer research in B.C.

Back to top