Island Health

Vancouver Island blood bank could yield cancer clues and save lives

Photograph by: DARREN STONE, Times Colonist

Thousands of blood samples divided among freezers at the Deeley Research Centre in Victoria may hold the secrets to saving cancer patients’ lives.

The biobank, which holds samples donated by cancer patients before they begin treatment, is the first of its kind in Canada, according to the B.C. Cancer Agency.

It’s important study material for researchers looking for the determinants of cancer, said medical oncologist Dr. Nicol Macpherson. It may also help answer why some patients experience radiation burns, nausea and infection during treatment, while others don’t.

Victoria AIDS centre to close its doors Monday

Victoria AIDS Resource & Community Service Society (VARCS) is permanently closing its doors March 31, thanks to a new harm reduction model by the region's health authority.

Since 1991, VARCS has provided respite and community support services to people living with HIV/AIDS through contract funding from Island Health. Last year, VARCS received $165,000 for it work, which includes a region-wide needle exchange program.

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