BC Cancer Agency doctor profiled

Dr. Muhammad Zulfiqar is among the world-class researchers working out of the Abbotsford centre

Dr. Muhammad Zulfiqar

The following is the second of a three-part series on the world-class researchers at the BC Cancer Agency in Abbotsford.

The BC Cancer Agency’s Abbotsford centre houses clinicians and researchers who have travelled around the world in their studies and are now honing their skills and serving patients right here in the Fraser Valley.

Dr. Muhammad Zulfiqar shares his experiences and how the generosity of donors is helping fuel the latest in cancer research.

What is your role at the BC Cancer Agency?

At BC Cancer Agency, I serve as medical oncologist working in a multidisciplinary team to help cancer patients in the specialized field of gastrointestinal, genitourinary and central nervous system neoplasms. I am also a medical director of clinical trials unit at the Abbotsford centre and am a member of the Provincial Clinical Trial Advisory Committee.

Your journey to a career in cancer research spanned many places, from Kansas to Newfoundland. What initially got you interested in studying oncology?

During medical school, one of our class fellows passed away from a germ cell tumour, and witnessing what he and his family went through sparked my curiosity in the field. Further, when I met cancer patients, they made me realize what living every moment to its fullest meant. The scope of further development and research in the field was enormous, and I decided to pursue a career in serving this group of patients. Research and progress to newer treatments was the integral component of care.

What updates to research can you share with us?

Several developments have not only made patients’ quality of life better, but also improved survival as well. Germ cell tumours which used to have a high mortality rate are mostly curable now. Previously there were few treatment options for prostate cancer, and now there are several with few side effects and significant benefit. Metastatic colorectal cancer survival has improved from six months to three and a half years now. These are only a few of the numerous examples of ongoing progress.

How does the community support your research?

It is vital to discover new treatments and improve the existing ones. Progress in different fields of medicine is a direct and indirect result of philanthropy. In fact, our own clinical trials unit at the Abbotsford Centre was a result of a generous gift from BC Cancer Foundation donors: the George and Margaret Braun family.

What do you see in the near future of cancer research?

The era of more precise and personalized targeted treatment will emerge, with fewer side effects and the most effectiveness. These are the current directions of cancer research in several disease sites.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Officials looking for answers after Abbotsford football star found dead in Sask. lake

Saskatchewan Health Authority looking into circumstances surrounding Samwel Uko’s hospital visit

Abbotsford’s ‘virtual’ Canada Day event includes pet parade and entertainment

Month-long celebration also features cultural and family activities

Envision Financial, Coast Abbotsford team up for health care workers

Pair of organizations partner to provide free and discounted rooms for local workers during COVID-19

Potential for gravel removal this summer in Chilliwack has riled river stewards

Group says no ‘discernible merit’ for gravel mining when balanced off with the environmental damage

Gabriel Klein’s sentencing delayed until September

Man convicted of killing Abbotsford high school student Letisha Reimer was set for June

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read