Accelerating cancer research

New scientific partner for Canada’s largest health research platform

Canada’s largest population health research platform has a new scientific partner and new leadership.

The Partnership selected the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health to be its new scientific partner for the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP). The move follows a decade of investment and leadership by the Partnership and CPTP’s growth into an internationally recognized resource for cancer research.

Dr. Philip Awadalla has been appointed National Scientific Director for CPTP. Dr. Awadalla is currently Program Director of the Ontario Health Study and a senior investigator at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR).

The new leadership will build a strong national scientific vision for the future of CPTP and expand use of the data by Canadian and international researchers.  The Partnership is committed to ensuring CPTP’s full potential is realized and will continue to provide the supportive leadership needed to ensure a smooth transition to the University of Toronto and the ongoing impact of CPTP.

The CPTP enables precision health research because it is a living population laboratory. By ‘deeply characterizing’ and following the health of Canadians, we can develop the tools that slow or prevent disease evolution in an individual. The future of this program is reliant on research and discovery by the research community and the continued participation of Canadians to unlock the genetic and environmental factors associated with the development of disease.
– Philip Awadalla, National Scientific Director of CPTP

CPTP opens door to scientific discovery

CPTP is one of the world’s largest population health research platforms and a valuable resource for researchers around the globe. The following are some of the reasons CPTP matters:

  • Comprehensive, Canadian data: More than 300,000 Canadians across the country have provided information about their health, lifestyle and behaviour. Half of participants provided blood or biological samples, and the DNA of almost 5,000 blood samples has been genotyped.
  • Groundbreaking discovery: Researchers can use this comprehensive information to explore links between cancer and factors like genetic makeup, lifestyle and exposure to environmental toxins.
  • Ongoing enhancement: The value of CPTP continues to grow. Participants have now provided updated information for the first time through follow-up questionnaires. CPTP data is also being enhanced through linkage to other data, such as information on Canadians’ exposure to pollution and noise.
  • Accelerated research: Recruiting participants for a research study can take up to a decade and can be extremely expensive. Researchers now have access to ready-to-use data from over 300,000 individuals, including blood samples from more than half of them. This saves researchers time and money and allows them to advance their research more quickly.

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Annual Report 2017/18