Landmark strategy aims to coordinate cancer research investment in Canada

Funders commit to 24 key action items in country's first pan-Canadian cancer research strategy

TORONTO – A new strategy to help coordinate cancer research investment across Canada will enable the country’s cancer research funders to make faster progress on shared priorities and maximize the impact of cancer research funding in Canada – in turn enabling more Canadians to benefit from new discoveries.

Developed by the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance (CCRA), with funding from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, the Pan-Canadian Cancer Research Strategy represents a first for Canada’s cancer research funders: the planning of how some of their work will fit within the context of a broader Canadian strategy that takes into consideration shared priorities and leverages the strengths of each organization to maximize available funds. The strategy outlines 24 key action items across numerous areas of focus – including prevention, biological, translational, treatment and tumour-specific research – that require collective efforts and shared resources.

“This strategy supplements the important activities already being undertaken by cancer research funders by identifying new priorities and actions to be implemented collaboratively,” said Dr. Elizabeth Eisenhauer, Co-Chair of the CCRA and Chair of the Partnership’s Research Advisory Group. “Grounded in the strengths of the Canadian research community, the strategy is also highly connected to emerging priorities in the international research landscape so we can continue to make high-quality, relevant contributions on a global scale.”

“The Pan-Canadian Cancer Research Strategy provides a roadmap and vision for shared Canadian cancer research achievement – marking an important culture shift in the community,” said Jessica Hill, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. “The commitment among research funders to work collaboratively will result in stronger, more effective investments in research that will benefit more Canadians than ever.”

The strategy results from input and consultation from the research community both nationally and internationally. In preparing the strategy, the CCRA undertook an extensive consultation process, gathering input from more than 1,000 scientists, clinicians, patients, survivors and policy makers. Leading experts from around the world were interviewed to ensure the strategy was informed by international perspectives on the future of cancer research.

Investments in cancer research worldwide have contributed to significant progress in the treatment and cure of certain cancers, including Hodgkin’s lymphoma and testicular cancer, which now have long-term survival rates well above 80 per cent. Still, despite these advances, more than 171,000 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer each year and 75,000 die from it.

“We have made excellent strides, but clearly more can be done,” said Ms. Hill. “Made possible through our work with the CCRA and other research partners, this landmark strategy will strengthen the cancer research landscape in Canada for years to come and, ultimately, move us closer to the goals that anchor our work – fewer people diagnosed with or dying of cancer and improved quality of life for those affected by the disease.”

About the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance

The 22 member organizations of CCRA are: Alberta Cancer Foundation; Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions; BC Cancer Agency; Canadian Association of Provincial Cancer Agencies; Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation; Canadian Cancer Society; Canadian Institutes of Health Research; CancerCare Manitoba; Cancer Care Nova Scotia; Cancer Care Ontario; Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec; Genome Canada; Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research; National Research Council of Canada; New Brunswick Cancer Network; Ontario Institute for Cancer Research; Prostate Cancer Canada; Public Health Agency of Canada; Saskatchewan Cancer Agency; The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer; The Cancer Research Society; and The Terry Fox Foundation.

About the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is an independent organization funded by the federal government to accelerate action on cancer control for all Canadians. Bringing together cancer experts, government representatives, the Canadian Cancer Society and cancer patients, survivors and their families through the Canadian Cancer Action Network to implement the first pan-Canadian cancer-control strategy, the vision is to be a driving force to achieve a focused approach that will help prevent cancer, enhance the quality of life of those affected by cancer, lessen the likelihood of dying from cancer, and increase the efficiency of cancer control in Canada. For more information about the Partnership and Canada’s cancer control strategy, visit The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is also the driving force behind, an online community linking Canadians to cancer information, services and resources.