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BC Cancer Foundation launches fundraising campaign for research to be led by PG Oncologist

The BC Cancer Foundation has launched a $2.2 million campaign to support research being done in Prince George.

A new clinical trial, called SIMPLIFY, will test the use of Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR), a high-precision therapy which safely delivers higher doses of radiation to the tumour site, while limiting doses to healthy tissues.

This is expected to reduce side effects and increase the chance of a complete remission for people with metastatic cancer.

“We first opened up trials in Prince George by opening up trials other people had opened, so the SABR-COMET trial was a really important study,” said Dr. Rob Olson, Research Lead and Radiation Oncologist.

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“We were able to show that radiations really effective, but in the next study we did, we were able to reduce the side effects, because in that first study, the side effects were really high and we were able to show that radiation is safe.”

Olson said they’re now trying to cure patients, or at least put them into durable remission for a long period of time.

“Now the most recent study is trying to do one versus multiple treatments to try and reduce the onus on patients, to try to reduce the waitlist that we’ve got, and try to make it more cost-effective.”

The fundraising campaign is off to a terrific start, thanks to a familiar name when it comes to philanthropy in the Northern Capital.

According to the BC Cancer Foundation, Prince George Canadian Tire Owner Selen Alpay and his wife Anita have donated $500,000 to the campaign.

“Many of us have had loved ones treated at BC Cancer – Prince George, and know the importance of the work done in the centre,” Selen said.

“I’m proud to be able to give back, knowing the research they’re conducting here will improve lives in our city and across the world. I hope this gift inspires others to join in support of the BC Cancer Foundation.”

The Alpays previously donated $100,000 to Olson’s work in 2022.

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