For the first time in history, BC Cancer Agency scientists have decoded all of the three billion letters in the DNA sequence of a metastatic lobular breast cancer tumour and have found all of the mutations, or “spelling” mistakes that caused the cancer to spread.The landmark study, which will be published tomorrow as the cover story in the prestigious international science journal Nature, helps unlock the secrets of how cancer begins and spreads, thus pointing the way to the development of new breast cancer treatment targets and therapies.

“I never thought I would see this in my lifetime,” said Dr. Samuel Aparicio, head of the breast cancer research program at the BC Cancer Agency. “This is a watershed event in our ability to understand the causes of breast cancer and to develop personalized medicines for our patients. The number of doors that can now be opened to future research is considerable.”

The discovery is not only a major scientific milestone for the BC Cancer Agency, an acknowledged world leader in cancer research care, but also a significant testimony to the power of philanthropy invested in science to fuel cancer research and drive new discoveries.  Unarguably, the Weekend to End Breast Cancer has made a huge impact on providing funding this research. Thank You.

Watch a short video from Dr. Aparicio, read more about this breakthrough  and learn how your donations support breast cancer research at the BC Cancer Agency.