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Prostate Research and Treatment in BC: The History


Our Goals


The scientists and clinician-scientists at the Prostate Centre at Vancouver General Hospital, have an outstanding reputation for the diagnostic and therapeutic concepts which they have developed in prostate disease treatment and research over the past 23 years.

Prostate disease includes prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatitis. Almost every man will be affected by one or more of these during his lifetime. Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and, because of this, prostate cancer research has become an increasingly important priority of many funding councils. We are now able to attract and retain experts in this field of research. Benign prostate disease offers huge opportunities for coordinated basic and translational research across many disciplines. Coupled with an increased disease incidence in an aging population, the need to develop more effective and less costly treatments for prostate disease has never been more urgent.

The existing framework for prostate research here in BC provides opportunities for innovative and challenging collaborations. The Prostate Centre at VGH consolidates under one "banner" the expertise of scientists and clinicians in fields such as urology, cellular and molecular biology, physics, immunology, pharmacology, socio-behavioral sciences, functional genomics, nursing, radiation oncology, medical oncology, cancer endocrinology and epidemiology. In
the past three years, 5 new scientists have been recruited, which has added a pool of highly qualified, fully-funded, senior academic staff to our campus.

The Prostate Centre has been used as a model in Canada because of its ground-breaking linkage of treatment and research programs under one umbrella. Our successes speak for themselves. The 'open concept' in our laboratory fosters interactions between the various groups within the Prostate Centre and with a network of collaborators and experts in many fields of research within the university community and world-wide. The strength of this approach led to the creation of the UBC Centre for Prostate Research, a UBC Senate-sanctioned Centre of Excellence. These partnerships and alliances have created a strong web of research and clinical experts, with the Prostate Centre as its hub.

The Prostate Centre's leading edge work in functional genomics led to the development of our state-of-the-art Gene Array Facility, which has been selected as the gene microarray platform for Genome BC. This system has a combination of the highest sensitivity and throughput speed of any system presently available. It has been built to maximize the flexibility required to accommodate the technologies that are emerging in the area of microarrays. In addition to offering a full range of microarray analyses for prostate disease researchers, the Gene Array Facility has established strong collaborations with investigators in the Cancer, Cardiovascular, Forestry, Fisheries, Pathogenomics and Microbial Envirogenomics research communities, most of which are based at UBC.

The Prostate Centre has been named as one of only two Research and Education Centres for Prostate Cancer in Canada. As the only centre of its kind in Western Canada, the Training Centre offers funding for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and clinical fellows to work in a stimulating, modern environment. Our links to the University through the UBC Centre for Prostate Research has helped to create an attractive employment environment for scientists, clinicians, post-doctoral fellows, clinical fellows, medical students, graduate students, technicians, and support staff.


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