Vancouver Prostate Centre Quarterly Newsletter Issue 2
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Terry Fox Run
More than Two Decades On and Going Strong

Thirty-five years ago Terry Fox lost his battle to cancer. The heroic Canadian was gone, but his legacy was just beginning. To date, over $650 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry's name through the annual Terry Fox Run, held across Canada and around the world. The Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC) participates annually in that run and the ties between the groups are growing stronger year by year.


Since 1998 close to $28 million from Terry’s legacy, through the Terry Fox Foundation and the Terry Fox Research Institute, has been directed to the VPC. Prostate Cancer (PCa) is the most common male cancer in North America and the second leading cause of cancer deaths, and these funds go directly towards ongoing research to decrease the incidence of the disease.


Because its incidence rises dramatically with age, the occurrence of PCa will continue to outpace other cancers based on Canada’s aging population. While advanced PCa is initially controlled with hormonal therapies targeting the androgen receptor (AR) pathway, recurrence occurs due to emergence of lethal castration-resistant PCa (CRPC). Recently the VPC was funded to further preclinical and clinical studies which have helped define the complex interplay of existing and accruing genomic aberration that are supported by innate adaptive responses to drive evolution of treatment resistant disease. CRPC progression is the main obstacle to improving survival and the central focus of the recently funded Terry Fox New Frontiers Program on Targeting the Adaptive Molecular Landscape in CRPC.


This funding is an ideal example of how team science accelerates discovery of underlying mechanisms of resistance, leads to development of new therapies, and translates laboratory research into clinical practice. There was much positive feedback about the application from the international review panel: “This is an exciting application from a world-leading research team with a proven track record in CRPC. Their contributions in this field are truly outstanding, and it is difficult to identify another group with similar standing in this area. The proposed work is a balanced portfolio of innovative basic, translational, and clinical work. The projects synergize well, and the cores are well integrated into the work”. The team, now armed with this envelope of funding, is more inspired than ever to reach their goals.

New Researchers
Dr. Faraz Hach

The VPC is delighted to welcome Dr. Faraz Hach to his recently appointed role of Senior Research Scientist. Dr. Hach’s main focus is the field of bioinformatics, specifically computational genomics and biomolecular sequence analysis in the context of cancer research. His research involves designing unique, high performance algorithms for analyzing large amounts of data generated through sequencing of DNA. Recently, he has developed a computational tool for finding particular mutations from liquid biopsies in collaboration with the VPC’s Dr. Collins and Dr. Sahinalp. He is also focused on developing computational methods to better understand the progression of cancer from tissue and liquid biopsy sequencing data.


His earlier work on genomic sequence mapping has been used in the in the 1000 Genomes Project to find an integrated map of structural changes in more than 2500 genomes. He is also a pioneer in making genomic data more accessible through compression and is part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium PanCancer Analysis of Whole Genomes Project. This international group's goal is to obtain a comprehensive picture of genomic, transcriptomic and epigenomic changes across different tumour type and sub-types.


Dr. Hach’s research has been internationally recognized with number of awards and honors. These include the Ian Lawson Van Toch Memorial Award for an outstanding paper at the 20th Annual International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology and the Governor General’s Gold Medal for the best doctoral thesis award from Simon Fraser University in 2014. Welcome aboard, Faraz.

Sharing Our Knowledge

The VPC has had a fruitful quarter with publications. The highlight of our work was in Nature: Discovery of a Metastatic Immune Escape Mechanism Initiated by the Loss of Expression of the Tumour Biomarker Interleukin-33.


Other work included pieces in the American Journal of Surgical Pathology (Histologic Grading of Prostatic Adenocarcinoma Can Be Further Optimized: Analysis of the Relative Prognostic Strength of Individual Architectural Patterns in 1275 Patients From the Canary Retrospective Cohort) and two publications in the Journal of Urology:


VPC researchers also published in four other journals:

News, Events and Kudos
We want you to know what is happening at our Centre. Through some of the most ground- breaking research and clinical care we have amassed several achievements in the last 6 months.

Congratulations to Dr. Larry Goldenberg, recipient of the prestigious 2016 Canadian Urological Society Lifetime Achievement Award.

Thank you to all our sponsors, participants and volunteers for helping us raise over $570,000 through the Mr. Lube Tournament for Life! Year after year, we have witnessed stronger and more passionate support to ensure that those at the Vancouver Prostate Centre continue to do what they do best: save lives and develop new treatments for men and their families affected by prostate cancer.
Wearing Plaid for Dad
The Prostate Cancer Canada “Wear Plaid for Dad” 2016 fundraiser took place on June 17th. The Centre’s scientists, students and staff showed our support.
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Prostate Clinic (Patient queries)
Gordon & Leslie Diamond
Health Care Centre
6th Floor, 2‌775 Laurel Street
Vancouver General Hospital
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1‌M9
Phone: 6‌04 875 5003
Prostate Research Facility
Jack Bell Research Centre
2‌660 Oak Street
Vancouver, BC V6H 3‌Z6
Phone: 6‌04 875 4818
Fax: 6‌04 875 5654
Vancouver CoastalHealth Research Institute
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