Why "Phoenix"?

Our CEO Dr. Sandra Dunn - "While trying to explain cancer stem cells to my 12-year-old daughter MacKenzie, I realized that I would have to get creative. I explained that cancer stem cells can cause tumors to come back following chemotherapy which is analogous to the mythical Phoenix that ‘rises from the ashes’. I told her that the only way to cure this cancer, once and for all, would be to get to the root of the problem, i.e. to extinguish the Phoenix of cancer and this is precisely what inhibiting our lead cancer target called RSK does to the most aggressive form of breast cancer.  It also provides hope for other people suffering from cancer; importantly children. 

MacKenzie could see our vision with clarity and focus so much so that she wanted to be part of it all. She did so by creating this wonderful drawing of the Phoenix to remind us of our target. 

Cancer Statistics

The most recent studies show there are at least 8.2 million deaths from cancers worldwide each year. Unfortunately for the majority of patients, the fight against cancer is a difficult challenge and often a losing battle. According to the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, there were 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in 2012 and 552,000 deaths. For more global cancer statistics, please visit the World Health Organization’s website.

“The hardest part” of breast cancer under 40

Photo sourced from CBS News site - http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-hardest-part-of-breast-cancer-under-40/

Photo sourced from CBS News site - http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-hardest-part-of-breast-cancer-under-40/

October 27, 2016 - TNBC affects mostly younger women between the ages of 40 and 50. This story is a touching personal account of how this disease can affect the lives of women in the prime of their life; impacting on their fertility, young families and careers. Beth Caldwell was a successful civil rights lawyer from Seattle who had a very active life prior to her diagnosis with stage 4 cancer. 

Read her story here

Breast Cancer is Ageless 

photo screenshot taken from i24 news video - http://www.i24news.tv/en/tv/replay/the-lineup/x4uth06

photo screenshot taken from i24 news video - http://www.i24news.tv/en/tv/replay/the-lineup/x4uth06

September 26, 2016 - Breast Cancer does not discriminate against age and Maya is an example this. Maya was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 26 and is currently still fighting the disease at age 30. Breast cancer is not just a disease for older women, it can greatly effect the younger population and their overall quality of life. Maya spends her days outside of treatment as a volunteer at the Israel Cancer Association and is now on mission to help all fighting breast cancer.

Maya shared her story to I24 News here

Slaying the dragon, a story of personalised medicine in action

Trish Keatings was living with and fighting metastatic colon cancer. In 2014 she was given the opportunity to take part in a personalised medicine study (POG) and they found a mutation in her tumour which could be targeted with a drug currently used to lower blood pressure. As well as talking with her oncologist she also consulted her good friend Dr. Sandi Dunn on whether taking this drug was the right option for her.

To read more on their story please click on this link

Her story can also be found on the BC Cancer Foundation site here

Useful resources


The Personalized Medicine Revolution - written by local scientist Dr. Pieter Cullis

Social Media and Apps

Breast Cancer: Share the journey study - An App which provides support for managing the symptoms of Breast Cancer

To learn more click here


The Changing Face of Breast Cancer - By Kathleen Kingsbury ( Featured in TIME ) 

"There are countries in which lives are being saved — and others in which far too many are still being lost. In all of them, the first step to beating the disease is understanding how it works." 

Read article here

Breast Cancers Are Rising in Younger And In Older Women: Reasons For Concern - By Elaine Schattner ( Featured in Forbes) 

"The study authors emphasized that breast cancers in women between 70 and 84 years will go up disproportionately, from just 24 percent to over a third (35 percent) of all breast cancers."

Read article here

Fears elderly women are putting themselves at risk of breast cancer after half cannot name another symptom apart from a lump - Daily Mail

"I want to say to all women over 70, don't assume you're past it. If you notice any changes to your breasts, tell your doctor."

Read article here

Being active might reduce breast cancer risk - Toronto Star

"Those women who hit the gym before work and then sat for hours at a time didn’t enjoy any more protection than those who skipped the gym and sat most of their day. Only the women who moved around frequently during the day — those who likely got up from their desks a lot to walk around at work or didn’t binge-watch television — saw elevated levels of this crucial gene." 

Read article here

Celebrities Stand Up to Cancer




Angelina Jolie 

"For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices."

Read the article here


Christina Applegate

"I’m a human being. I went through a really difficult time. That’s something that happened to us. But just trying to take it all in stride and telling yourself that you are whole, you are complete, and you are healthy."

Read the article here



Giuliana Rancic

"The key is, you’ve got to find it early, and the only way you’re going to find it early is to be proactive about your health and to stay on top of your doctor’s appointments. If you’re going for a mammogram every two or three years, it might be too late when you find your breast cancer."

Read the article here



The Estee Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign 





Susan G. Komen

"At Susan G. Komen, our mission is pretty simple: to save lives and end breast cancer forever. How we do it…well, that’s a bit more complex. We educate, support research, offer grants that provide financial and emotional assistance and advocate for better breast cancer policy. But in a broader sense, we empower others, ensure quality care for all, and invest in science to find the cures."




The American Association for Cancer Research explains why cancer research needs funding


An excellent explanation of TNBC by Dr. Kristi Funk, being interviewed here by TNBC survivor Robin Roberts.

Dr. Funk is a breast cancer surgeon who is best known for her work with celebrities such as Angelina Jolie.