A beacon of hope: VGH's Stone Centre
From prostate cancer to kidney stones, our specialists are leading the world in innovative urologic treatment and research.
With a goal of raising $35M, the funds will be used to bring improved care to BC patients in areas including prostate cancer, kidney and bladder cancer, kidney stones, bladder and pelvic health, kidney transplant, sexual and reproductive health and adolescent transitional urology.
Together, we will recruit, train, and inspire the future leaders of urologic sciences.
Learn more about how donations have been put to use — saving the lives of patients every day.
The Vancouver Prostate Centre team at VGH is widely considered a global leader and ranked amongst the top in North America. VGH is the main provincial referral site for complex urologic care and the only search and training centre of its kind in BC.
Together, we ensure that BC patients are the first to benefit from live-saving bench to bedside treatments. Learn about the cutting-edge research highlights in the field of Urologic Science, made possible by donors like you.
VGH is Western Canada’s premier teaching hospital, attracting top recruits with its comprehensive clinical, surgical, and research opportunities. One of the most renowned of these programs is the Urologic Oncology training program. The Uro-oncology Fellows train under the leadership of world-renowned physician Dr. Peter Black, Associate Director of Clinical Research and Khosrowshahi Chair in Bladder Cancer Research at the Vancouver Prostate Centre.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) from implanted medical devices like catheters are among the most common hospital-acquired infections.
Dr. Dirk Lange, Director of Basic Science Research at the Stone Centre at VGH, is part of a team of innovators who developed a silver-based coating that can easily be applied to devices such as catheters and stents.
“This coating has significant potential to maintain a clean surface for any device or material for an extended period of time, which is something we haven’t seen so far,” says Dr. Lange. The discovery is hailed as a silver bullet to help eliminate implant-associated infections in patients and prevent painful UTIs.
A new affordable smartphone platform delivers real-time cell behaviour data to enhance precision medicine. Called SnapCyte, this artificial-intelligence driven technology was developed by VPC researcher Dr. Mauds Daugaard.
“This platform can be very helpful in drug screening,” says Daugaard. “When comparing multiple drug candidates, SnapCyte can very accurately and quickly assess how each drug acts on cancer or other cells to identify the most effective treatment.”
Read more about homegrown innovation with global impact.
One of the major challenges when treating cancer is the fact that it becomes treatment-resistant. That is true of prostate cancer as well.
“The problem is that we do not know what is enabling the cancer to keep growing even when testosterone-blocking medication is used,” explains Dr. Nada Lallous, a senior research scientist with the VPC. Galvanized by philanthropy, her team is now investigating the structure and behaviour of key proteins –including a process called phase separation -that can get out of control in cancer.
“By better understanding how and why phase separation is happening in cancer, more than in normal cells, we can hopefully uncover new treatments for many cancers, not only prostate cancer,” says Lallous.
Read more about breakthrough approaches to cancer treatment.
Patients who received a life-saving kidney transplant must take medication to prevent organ rejection. Yet these same medications can be tough on the transplanted organ and its recipient.
Dr. Harriman is looking for early clues in patients’ urine that may warn of potential kidney distress. This will help doctors identify more effective ways to stage an intervention and prolong healthy living for renal transplant recipients. With your help, together, we will continue to use cutting-edge software to develop new treatments.
Read more about his award-winning study.
A new blood test developed by Vancouver Prostate Centre researchers is shining an unprecedented light onto the makeup of a patient’s cancer, opening up treatment avenues not possible until now.
“With only a few drops of blood, we can uncover critical information about a person’s overall disease and how best to manage their cancer,” says Dr. Alexander Wyatt, senior research scientist at VPC. “This test has the potential to help clinicians choose better tailored treatment options and to more efficiently detect treatment resistance, allowing clinicians to adjust clinical care as needed.”
Read more about this incredible medical breakthrough supported in part by philanthropy. Together, we save lives.
“Prostate cancer we thought of as a slow-moving, old man’s disease… It’s a men’s disease, but it’s not really a men’s disease. It’s our disease, because we all have to live with it.”
Read the Senft family’s story.
The team seeks to formalize six Centres of Excellence within an aspirational Institute of Urologic Sciences. Each Centre will consist of programs that involve clinical care, research, innovation, education, health services and administration.
Computer-aided drug discovery, imaging, machine learning and artificial intelligence are leveraged for new biological and immunological diagnostics and therapeutics. These are helping patients with kidney, bladder and testicular cancers.
Collaboration with UBC Faculty of Engineering to develop innovative targeted and focal therapeutic technologies enhances the ability to image, diagnose and remove cancers with greater accuracy and less morbidity to the patient.
By bringing together experts in urology, gynecology, neurosciences, nursing and physical therapy, the team will shift the paradigm of their diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities to deliver comprehensive care of bladder diseases. This includes urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, recurring infections and fertility issues faced by BC women and the many neurogenic bladder issues resulting from spinal cord and neurodegenerative illnesses across the entire population.
Collaboration between immunologists and transplant experts is advancing immunosuppression to improve organ preservation, decrease infection and prolong transplanted organ longevity, supporting BC’s goal of one transplant for life.
The current status of transition care in BC for children born with urinary tract abnormalities, such as those related to spinal defects, is episodic, urgent and sub-optimal without any coherent infrastructure. Establishing a robust transition adolescent urology program will offer a bridge for the many young patients who grow out of the children’s hospital system with no current follow-up on the horizon. These patients and their families deserve better and a new Centre will meet their needs.
The team provides physical, surgical and psychological therapy of sexual health challenges to men and their partners. Through state-of-the-art genomic and molecular biology techniques such as single cell sequencing, 3D bioprinting and protein engineering they are identifying novel therapies for men challenged with conditions like infertility and Peyronie’s disease.
They are quickly becoming international leaders in creating paradigm shifting therapies such as developing AI-guided therapeutic approaches for infertility and Peyronie’s disease, as well as developing the next generation of nanotech penile implant technologies to treat erectile dysfunction.
To help solve the mystery of why stones form, computational models of metabolites and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are helping identify drug candidates for study. Cutting-edge technological and machine learning advances provide improvements and lessen the invasiveness and morbidity of surgical procedures to remove stones and urinary blockages, such as those due to benign growth of the prostate.
Read the full Urology Campaign Impact Report.
Rod & Jeannie Senft
Dr. Larry Goldenberg
Urology Department Leadership
Dr. Martin Gleave
Don & Catherine Konantz
David & Brenda McLean
David & Leah Rowntree
Dr. Peter Black
Dr. Ben Chew
Dr. Kim Chi
Dr. Ryan Flannigan
Dr. David Harriman
Dr. Tia Higano
Dr. Alex Kavanagh
Dr. Andrew MacNeily
Dr. Lucia Nappi
Dr. Christopher Nguan
Dr. Mark Nigro
Dr. Ryan Paterson
Dr. Alan So
On June 13, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation announced the public launch of the campaign, recognizing lead donors who have contributed $25M. Learn more.