On December 2nd, 2021, the Gynecologic Cancer Initiative launched the first video of their Beyond the Stories series that is funded by Michael Smith Health Research BC. 

The project is led by Dr. Gillian Hanley (a steering committee member of the GCI) and Nicole Keay (a cervical cancer survivor). The videos features various patient partners, health researchers, and other members of the GCI team. Beyond the Stories aims to share evidence-based information on prevention, diagnostics, treatment and survivorship in gynecologic cancer that is created with patients, and for patients. Health research evidence should be available to all, especially gynecologic patients in BC. Through this video series, we hope to improve timely access to research findings and knowledge on gynecologic cancers. 

The first video, Advancements in Hereditary Cancer Research, features patient partner Rose Lee, as well as researchers Dr. Janice Kwon and Dr. Lesa Dawson. Rose is a survivor of both triple-negative breast cancer and high-grade serous ovarian cancer. When she was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, she was not eligible for hereditary cancer screening because she did not have a significant family history of cancer. When she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 7 years later, she found out she had a BRCA1 mutation after undergoing screening at BC Cancer. Rose’s story would be different now because of research, including research done here in BC. Dr. Kwon and Dr. Dawson breaks down hereditary gynecologic cancers and discuss the research that has led to changes in clinical practice.  

Research has shown that we miss many families with BRCA mutation when we base testing on family history alone. We now know that certain forms of breast cancer and ovarian cancer are more likely to be associated with the BRCA mutation, including triple-negative breast cancer and high grade serous ovarian cancer.

Dr. Janice Kwon, Advancements in Hereditary Cancer Research

You can watch Beyond the Stories: Advancements in Hereditary Cancer Research on YouTube. We encourage your community to share the video with your networks and those you know who may fit the criteria for hereditary cancer screening. 

Thank you to Michael Smith Health Research BC for funding this project through the Reach program. Thank you to BC Cancer Foundation, BC Women’s Health Foundation, UBC Faculty of Medicine, and VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation for supporting this project.