Saanich banker to match $1 million in donations

Funds will help launch immunotherapy clinical trials at the B.C. Cancer Agency’s Deeley Research Centre in Saanich

Robert and Alex Conconi have launched a campaign that will match up to $1 million in donations to benefit the immunotherapy research program based at the B.C. Cancer Agency’s Deeley Research Centre in Saanich.

It’s been a long road for former Saanichite Robert Conconi.

Last week the Robert L. Conconi Foundation and B.C. Cancer Foundation announced they will match donations up to $1 million to support the immunotherapy research program based at the B.C. Cancer Agency’s  Deeley Research Centre in Saanich.

The goal is to launch clinical trials for a made-in-B.C. immunotherapy approach to cancer treatment.

Conconi was a Claremont secondary graduate who grew up in Central Saanich where, like many young entrepreneurs, he delivered newspapers and picked strawberries. He eventually launched his career at the former Bank of Montreal branch at Saanich’s Cook and Quadra intersection.

As a cancer survivor, Conconi says he owes his life to cancer research and the hard-working scientists and clinicians of the B.C. Cancer Agency who applied his successful cancer treatments years ago.

The idea to support research in the area of immunotherapy is actually that of Robert Conconi’s eldest son, Alex, who is drawn to the promise of harnessing the potential of a patient’s immune system to eliminate cancer cells.

“We believe immunotherapy is the most promising and highly personalized new cancer treatment in development,” Alex said.

The Deeley Research Centre is targeting a specific form of immunotherapy, adoptive T cell therapy, here in Saanich.

The research team is in final preparations for clinical trials, which will require significant philanthropic funds to support the development of each custom T cell therapy.

The matching gift opportunity runs until Oct. 22, at bccancerfoundation.com/conconimatch.

 

reporter@saanichnews.com