A pancreatic cancer survivor’s French-Canadian genes held the clue that helped save his life

Cancer survivor Richard Beauchamp, left, with his pancreatic surgeon Dr. George Zogopoulos. (McGill University Health Centre)

(As It Happens/ CBC Radio) — When Richard Beauchamp was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2014, he was told it was inoperable and that he would likely die within a year.

It’s a common story for pancreatic cancer patients. The aggressive disease produces few early symptoms, and by the time doctors diagnose it, it’s usually too late.

“It made a little shock inside, that’s for sure,” the Montreal man told As It Happens host Carol Off. “But I put myself in solution mode: What should I do? What should I change?”

Three years later, Beauchamp is happy, healthy and cancer-free.

And it’s thanks in part to his French-Canadian genes — and a $5-million pan-Canadian study.

In searching for a solution, Beauchamp discovered the study, funded by the Terry Fox Research Institute, called Enhanced Pancreatic Cancer Profiling for Individualized Care (EPPIC).

EPPIC aims to sequence the tumours of pancreatic cancer patients across the country and provide personalized treatment based on their particular subtype of the disease. (…)

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