BC Cancer Foundation - Fall 2016 - (Page 7)

RESEARCHER PROFILE Meet Dr. Jessica McAlpine Making progress in endometrial cancers Dr. Jessica McAlpine is a surgeon specializing in gynecological cancers and a researcher with the world-renowned OVCARE team at the BC Cancer Agency. Recently awarded the 2016 BC Cancer Foundation Clinical Investigator Award, she talks with DISCOVERY about her work on endometrial cancers, which currently have the fastest growing mortality rate of all cancers. DISCOVERY: What can you tell us about the current state of endometrial cancer research? DISCOVERY: How do BC Cancer Foundation donors impact your research? DISCOVERY: What's next in endometrial cancer research and care? DR. MCALPINE: Although endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer and the fourth most common cancer in women, overall it has been under-studied and not wellfunded. This might be because most women with endometrial cancer have very good outcomes and can be cured by surgery alone. However, for the 20 to 30 per cent of women who have disease that has spread beyond the uterus, or in whom the disease comes back, our treatments do not always work effectively and these women may die from their disease. DR. MCALPINE: Thanks to an incredibly generous donation by a family who was impacted by endometrial cancer, we have been able to complete biologic analysis of almost 500 endometrial cancer cases from B.C. The Sarabjit Gill Memorial Fund supported the analysis of molecular features, clinical outcomes and response to therapy in this large cohort. We have succeeded in publishing multiple high-impact journal articles sharing our findings, and have been awarded three national-level grants associated with the work. DR. MCALPINE: We have learned so much about endometrial cancer by analyzing the molecular features of the tumours. Recently, we've been really excited to show that these molecular features can be determined on preoperative diagnostic endometrial samples and do not require analysis of the whole uterine specimen, such as from a hysterectomy. After this work is published, we will then begin to study how having this information from the time of first diagnosis could alter the care of women with this disease across Canada. DISCOVERY: You're a recipient of the BC Cancer Foundation's Clinical Investigator Award. How does the funding support your work? DR. MCALPINE: This funding supports me in multiple ways: it gives me protected time from clinical and surgical duties to actually do the research, the support of complementary research team members who can increase our productivity, and it can be used to purchase actual materials or equipment for the experiments. GET TO KNOW OUR RESEARCHERS BC Cancer Agency doctors and scientists blog about cancer treatment and advancements at bccancerfoundation.com/blog. W W W.BCCANCERFOUNDATION.COM 7 http://www.bccancerfoundation.com/blog http://WWW.BCCANCERFOUNDATION.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BC Cancer Foundation - Fall 2016

BC Cancer Foundation - Fall 2016
Opening Thoughts
Healthy Insights
Why I Give
Researcher Profi le
Bringing Cancer Care Closer to Home
Mapping the Spread of the Deadliest
A Better Biopsy
The Cancer’s DNA Matters
Legacy Giving
Regional Roundup

BC Cancer Foundation - Fall 2016