Northern B.C. residents will benefit from a growing cancer research infrastructure in the North focused on improving early detection and the delivery of cancer care in northern communities.
Through the Northern Cancer Control Strategy (NCCS) Research Office, Northern Health (NH), the BC Cancer Agency (BCCA) and the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) have joined with the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) in a partnership to facilitate cancer research in the North.
"Research developed in our region that specifically focuses on rural and remote community cancer concerns and treatment delivery will provide direct benefit to patients and families in Northern B.C.," said Shirley Bond, Prince George-Valemount MLA. "Research like this is a critical component of our Northern Cancer Control Strategy."
The NCCS Research Office has developed a number of initiatives to help drive rural, remote, and/or Aboriginal-specific cancer care research in the region. These include an NCCS Research website (www.northerncancerstrategy.ca/Research)
which provides researchers with tools such as a provincial/national funding catalog; an academic Northern Oncology Lecture series at UNBC showcasing regional activities; and a new research grant program.
"Research home grown in the North will open up opportunities for exploring how to better deliver detection and care services for northerners that meet our unique needs," said Pat Bell, Prince George-Mackenzie MLA.
The Research Office's new NCCS Discovery Seed Grant Program recently awarded its first five project grants from the 2011-2012 competition:"Assessing Nutrition Information Needs for Rural Women with Breast Cancer"
Lindsay Van der Meer (NH) & Dr. Steven Johnson (Athabasca University):"Impact of Community Size on Patterns of Practice in Rectal Cancer"
Shilo LeFresne (BCCA) & Dr. Robert Olson (UBC/BCCA):"Unlocking the Potential of Shared Care: Cancer Survivorship"
Dr. Dan Horvat (UBC), Richard Doll (BC Cancer Agency), Dr. Arminee Kanzanjian (UBC), Dr. Robert Olson (UBC/BC Cancer Agency), Dr. Amanda Ward (BC Cancer Agency), Dr. Phil White (BC Cancer Agency FPON):"Cancer Stroma Glycoproteomics"
Dr. Sean Maurice (UBC) & Dr. Paul Winwood (UBC/Northern Health):"Developing a Flourescence-based Method to Screen Molecules"
Dr. Chow Lee, Dr. Maggie Li, Mark Barnes, Garrit van Rensburg (all UNBC):
"Our collective goal is to increase cancer research across our region," said Dr. Geoff Payne, regional associate dean, Northern Medical Program and vice provost medicine, UNBC, "which can then be translated into best practice and address the needs of northern and rural populations."
The NCCS Discovery Seed Grant Program is open to any UNBC, UBC, NH, BCCA or PHSA faculty or staff member. The application deadline for the next grants will be set for the end of 2012.
"Our hope is to facilitate a culture of cancer research in Northern B.C., and also stress the importance of rural and Aboriginal-specific cancer care research in Canada," said Dr. Ronald Chapman, regional director for the Northern Cancer Control Strategy. "We will be supporting research across the cancer-care continuum, with a special focus on early detection and treatment."
"These research resources will help our new Centre for the North staff access the tools they need to do research," said Brian Schmidt, interim president, BC Cancer Agency, "as well as help them to build partnerships with researchers and clinicians at both UNBC and Northern Health."
"Researchers supported through the new NCCS Research Office will foster innovation in regional cancer care and help to improve quality of life for our northern patients and their loved ones," said John Rustad, Nechako Lakes MLA.
If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Cancer Control Strategy Research Office initiatives and resources available, please contact Candice Manahan, NCCS Research Facilitator, by phone at 250-565-8835 or via email at Candice.Manahan,,,northernhealth.ca
The Northern Cancer Control Strategy is a joint partnership between Northern Health, BC Cancer Agency and the Provincial Health Services Authority. It is focused on enhancing the continuum of cancer services in the North, including prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, and supportive and palliative care.