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2011/2012 Studentship Recipients

Ada Kim, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

student_ada.jpgFourth year undergraduate
Supervisor: Dr. Kevin Bennewith, Integrative Oncology, BCCA Research Centre

Project Title

Role of HMOX1 and S100A8/A9 in Breast Cancer Metastasis

Project Description

This project will examine the role of two proteins called HMOX1 and S100A8/A9 in breast cancer metastasis. HMOX1 and S100A8/A9 have been shown to increase in abundance of hypoxic breast tumour cells, and we are interested in how these proteins affect metastasis. We will assess the roles of HMOX1 and S100A8/A9 in breast cancer metastasis by increasing or decreasing HMOX1 and S100A8/A9 protein levels in breast tumour cells prior to testing the cancer cells’ metastic abilities. This project will therefor explore whether these proteins represent rational therapeutic targets for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.


Maria Lesperance, University of Victoria, Victoria

student_maria.jpgThird year undergraduate
Supervisor: Dr. Pauline Truong, Radiation Oncology, BCCA Vancouver Island

Project Title

Examining local-regional recurrence risk according to subtype among women with T1-2, Node-negative breast cancer treated with modified radical mastectomy

Project Description

Women with breast cancer treated wit mastectomy have different risks of recurrence depending on the individual’s characteristics. Breast cancer ‘subtyping’ is a new way that can be used to separate women at high risk from women at low risk for recurrence. This study will analyze women with early breast cancer treated with mastectomy in British Columbia and the Massachusetts General Hospital to address the question of whether we can use subtyping along with other traditional markers to better estimate an individual woman’s risk of cancer recurrence. This information can help women and their doctors make more personalized treatment decisions.


Brent Parker, University of British Columbia – Okanagan Campus, Kelowna

student_brent.jpgFourth year undergraduate,
Supervisor: Dr. Rasika Rajapakshe, Medical Physics, BCCA Southern Interior

Project Title

Stratification of the 5-year cancer detection rate in the Screening Mammography Programof BC based on Gail model risk factors collected at the time of screening

Project Description 

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, sometimes called the Gail model, is a widely used tool to identify women at high risk of breast cancer for multiple purposes. The screening mammography program collects the information used in the Gail model as part of the screening appointment and this data is readily available in the Screening Mammography Program of BC (SMPBC) database. However, this risk data from the SMPBC screened women has never been utilized. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate whether cancer rates in the sub groups of women with high breast cancer risk as predicted by the Gail model score is higher than the SMPBC average. The results of this project will assist in developing effective methods to identify BC women that are at an elevated risk of breast cancer.


Chelsea Vandenberg, University of British Columbia – Okanagan Campu, Kelowna

student_chelsea.jpgFourth year undergraduate,
Supervisor: Dr. Cynthia Araujo , Medical Physics, BCCA Southern Interior

Project Title

Mapping of breast cancer care path in BC

Project Description

In order to evaluate the impact of different screening methodologies, a mathematical model of the breast cancer care path can be used to model the effectiveness and costs of different strategies. The first stage in developing a model is to document the current care path of early detection, diagnosis, treatment (surgery, medical oncology, and radiation oncology), survivorship and end-of-life care. This care path along with cancer control data from the province of BC will be used to develop and validate a BC Breast Cancer model.