MOHCCN Gold Cohort - Pan-Canadian Projects

The Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network is happy to introduce its Pan-Canadian Projects program, which unites researchers and clinicians from multiple provinces to work on projects that accelerate precision medicine for cancer in Canada.

In total, the Network will fund 20 groups through this initiative, representing a multi-million-dollar investment over the next three years that will contribute roughly 6,000 cases to the MOHCCN Gold Cohort, the largest and most complete cancer case resource in Canada.

“Until now, the bulk of our investment has supported projects within specific geographic regions, helping to create synergies within those regions and establishing the policy and technological framework needed to generate data nationally according to Network standards,” says Dr. André Veillette, executive director of the MOHCCN. “Now that these synergies exist, we are expanding our investment to projects that unite these regions, integrating researchers and clinicians in new and exciting ways.”

“This is where we will see the true impact of the Network on the Canadian cancer research and care landscape, which is why we are extremely excited to make this announcement.”

The 20 groups that will eventually make up the MOHCCN Pan-Canadian Projects were selected after a two-year process that began with a call for White Papers in November 2021 (See below).

After an administrative review from network staff, White Paper authors were contacted for their authorization to share their proposals with members of the MOHCCN Scientific Questions Working Group (SQWG) and collaborators.

The SQWG reviewed the White Papers and identified four themes emerging from the proposals that would be the basis for future projects. These themes – (i) mechanisms of drug resistance, (ii) dynamic biomarkers, (iii) prospective treatment assignment based on molecular/immune characterization and (iv) understanding cancer biology of rare and understudied cancer subtypes – along with a review criterion for a Request for Applications, were then endorsed by MOHCCN Network Council, and a request for applications was sent out. Out of the 35 applications received, 20 groups were selected to receive funding after undergoing peer review.

Pan-Canadian projects program


The purpose of this call for white papers is to identify important questions / problems in treating Canadian cancer patients using precision medicine approaches across multiple centres that can be addressed over a three to five year time period.

Download the MOHCCN White Paper FAQ, here.



The Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network (‘MOHCCN’) is an exciting new program managed by the Terry Fox Research Institute (‘TFRI’) with support from the federal government.  The MOHCCN’s mission is to bring together leading cancer centres across Canada to collaborate on precision medicine to benefit cancer patients and drive innovation.

Inspired by Terry Fox’s courage and dedication through his 1980 Marathon of Hope, for our initial program, the MOHCCN will generate and share molecular, clinical, and health outcomes data on Canadian cancer patients.  The MOHCCN will operate on a partnership model, requiring investments and matching cash contributions to be made by all partners. 

It is envisioned that the MOHCCN will: (i) unite cancer centres around a national cancer strategy in precision medicine by embedding research and innovation into the cancer clinic, (ii) share knowledge and resources to impact the health outcomes of patients, (iii) align investments of foundations and the pharmaceutical sector to match the federal investment to steer activities to benefit all Canadians, and (iv) position Canada as a global leader in cancer research.

Our initial program will create a shareable databank of 15,000 Canadian cancer cases focused on four key scientific questions.

  1. Addressing determinants of treatment failure of immunotherapy/precision cancer medicine.
  2. Investigating temporal and spatial heterogeneity of tumours.
  3. Evaluating the clinical validity and utility of genomics for real-time clinical decision making.
  4. Discovering the cancer biology and genomics of rare subtypes.



After an administrative review from TFRI Staff, White Papers authors were contacted for their authorization to share their proposals with the Scientific Questions Working Group (SQWG) and collaborators.

The SQWG reviewed the White Papers with the mandate to identify up to 5 themes along with the development of review criteria for a Request for Applications.

The four emerging themes recommended and that have been endorsed through the governance structure by MOHCCN Network Council are:

Theme No.ThemeExample of Enablers
1Mechanisms of drug resistance (targeted and immune therapy)Multi-omic biomarkers, profiling of immune cells and characterization of tumour microenvironment, PDX, etc
2Dynamic biomarkers, including minimally invasive testing, to evaluate disease kinetics and intratumoral heterogeneityctDNA assays, radiomics, multi-omic circulating biomarkers, etc
3Prospective treatment assignment based on molecular/immune characterizationPrecision oncology clinical trials, PDX/PDO to predict drug response/resistance, multi-omic correlative studies, etc
4Understanding cancer biology of rare and understudies cancer subtypesmulti-omic evaluations

Pan-Canadian Projects Request for Applications Development Process

  • November 1, 2021: deadline for expression of interest (White Paper proposals)
  •  July 15, 2022: SQWG committee discussion and recommendations.
  •  October 6th, 2022: Network Council endorsed the SQWG recommendations and TFRI issued a Request for Applications (RFA) with funding starting in the Fiscal Year 2023-2024.
  •  October 13th, 2022:  MOHCCN Think Tank meeting, the White Paper proposals were presented in a rapid-fire format to the broader MOHCCN community.
  •  December 9, 2022: Pan-Canadian Applications deadline.

Application submissions

The application submission deadline is December 9, 2022, at 5 pm PST. Applicants must submit the Full Application electronically before the deadline to the email address

The electronic document attached to the email must be either (1) a PDF formatted file, or (2) a Microsoft Word document (docx format). (3) The excel file – budget template, can be converted and combined to the PDF or sent separately as xls format.

Naming of Electronic Files: 2022 TFRI MOHCCN Pan-Can Project FULL APPLICATION –LAST NAME, First Name-Lead Site.docx’

Next Steps

A panel review will be completed. The awardees will be notified in March with a projected start of the funding on April 1st, 2023.

If you need further information or have other questions, please feel free to contact TFRI at