Marathon of Hope - Québec

The Marathon of Hope – Québec (MOH-Q) brings together leading scientists and clinicians from hospitals and research centres including the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), the Jewish General Hospital (JGH) and Segal Cancer Centre (SCC), the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Institute (GCI), and the McGill Genome Centre (MGC), all affiliated with McGill University, and the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CR-CHUM) and Centre de Recherche de l'Hôpital Maisonneuve Rosemont (CR-HMR), affiliated with l’Université de Montréal. It is expected that additional institutions across Quebec will join the initiative.

Founding members of MOH-Q have developed strong partnerships through initiatives such as the Montreal Cancer Consortium, a TFRI-funded pilot project of the MoHCCN led by Drs. Ian Watson (McGill University-GCI) and John Stagg (CR-CHUM), to work on projects that focused on immunotherapy treatments for melanoma and acute myeloid leukemia. 

Together, MOH-Q partners will work to harness the power of data derived from over 20,000 new patients treated annually across the consortium, driving innovation in clinical trial strategies and research in biomarker discovery, immuno-oncology and precision medicine. We will leverage the expertise of clinical and biomedical scientists of international stature, investments from the Terry Fox Research Institute, the private sector and philanthropy to form a large cancer patient-centric innovation hub and accelerate the implementation of precision medicine for cancer in Quebec and across Canada.

Initially, the MOH-Q will contribute patient data derived from 18 cohorts spanning multiple cancer types, including melanoma, colorectal, ovarian, prostate, head and neck, gastro-esophageal, breast, lung, pancreatic and rare cancers. The MOH-Q aims to include projects aligned with the MOHCCN white papers from across the province in a second phase.


  • Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Institute (GCI) at McGill University
  • McGill Genome Centre
  • Research Institute of the MUHC
  • Segal Cancer Centre/Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital
  • Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM)
  • Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CR-CHUM)
  • Centre de recherche de l'Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont/CIUSSS de l'Est-de-l'Île de Montréal et Institut universitaire d'hématologie-oncologie et de thérapie cellulaire


Goals and Objectives


Recruit Quebec cancer patients for the genomic profiling of their tumours as part of the 15,000 Gold Cohort.


  • Promote and facilitate multicentre clinical trials and translational research projects.
  • Integrate patient partners of diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds to our team where they will contribute to setting research priorities, outreach to remote and underserved populations and the governance of the MOH-Q.
  • Expand to include additional cancer care centres across Québec.
  • Promote innovation through our technology platforms
  • Facilitate partnerships between industry and researchers to commercialize technologies generated from public funding.
  • Provide a rich training environment for the next generation of clinicians and researchers.


Expression of Interest Letters were requested to identify studies to become part of the MoHCCN initiative. A selection committee composed of scientists and clinician scientists across the MOH-Q evaluated the studies to determine

  • Alignment with at least one of the scientific questions of the MoHCCN
  • Scientific and clinical merit of the study
  • Feasibility and readiness of the study
  • Ability to share data and biospecimen
  • Availability of matching funds
ProjectsProject leads
Defining subsets of metastatic colorectal cancer by intersecting molecular and imaging features of liver metastasesSimon Turcotte, Gerry Batist, An Tang, Dominique Trudel
Combining system biology approach to determine the cancer immune set-point and develop novel biomarkers of immunotherapy response in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.Bertrand Routy, Arielle Elkrief, Corentin Richard
Real world evidence, industry and investigator initiated clinical trial to evaluate ovarian cancer patient response to personalized medicine treatment.Diane Provencher, Anne-Marie Mes-Masson and Francis Rodier
Treatment response of prostate cancer patients to personalized medicine: a real-world evidence, industry and investigator initiated clinical trial assessment.Fred Saad, Anne-Marie Mes-Masson, Jean-Baptiste Lattouf, Zineb Hamilou
Artificial Intelligence to PRedicting Efficacy of Drugs and radiation in Head and Neck Cancer through Digital pathology and radiology Imaging Combined to Tumor Genomics (AI-PREDICT)Houda Bahig, Apostolos Christopoulos, Ismail Ben Ayed
A collaborative framework to perform ‘cancer therapy response integrative profiling’ (cTRIP) for melanoma patients treated with immune and targeted therapy Ian Watson, Catalin Mihalcioiu, Simon Turcotte, Rahima Jamal, Wilson Miller, Sonia del Rincon, Alan Spatz, Sinziana Dumitra, Ari Meguerditchian, Sarkis Meterissian, Kevin Petrecca, Keith Richardson, Francine Tremblay, Beatrice Wang, May Chergui, Kevin Watters.
Making sense of genomics: targeting protein drivers of therapeutic resistance in colorectal cancerAlan Spatz, Gerald Batist, Christoph Borchers, Mounib Elchebly, Rene Zahedi and Andreas Papadakis.
Investigating Therapy Resistance in Gastro-Esophageal AdenocarcinomaLorenzo Ferri, Veena Sangwan, Morag Park and Swneke Bailey.
Marathon of Hope – Addressing Therapy Resistance in Metastatic Breast Cancer

Mark Basik, Sarkis Meterissian, Morag Park, Marie-Christine Guiot, Saima Hassan, Dominique Johnson, Kevin Petrecca, Peter Siegel

Multi-Dimensional Biomarkers using Integrated Molecular and Radiomic Data for Precision Head and Neck OncologyReza Forghani, Alan Spatz, Michael Hier, Khalil Sultanem, Khashayar Esfahani, Christoph Borchers
Tumor microenvironment in Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma and link to response: standard-of-care and immunotherapiesKoren Mann, Sonia del Rincon and Nathalie Johnson
Unraveling neoadjuvant-treatment resistance in non-small cell lung cancerRoni F. Rayes, Pierre-Olivier Fiset, Morag Park, Logan A. Walsh and Jonathan D. Spicer
A novel sequencing informed treatment driven screening approach to rare thoracic malignanciesJonathan Cools-Lartigue, Lorenzo Ferri, Jonathan Spicer, Swneke Bailey, Veena Sangwan
SCCOHT/SMARCA4 Registry and BiobankWilliam Foulkes
Unveiling the molecular landscape of poor outcome rare breast cancer subtypes for the identification of targets for precision medicineMorag Park, Mark Basik, Saima Hassan, Sarkis Meterissian
Longitudinal Molecular Characterization of Lethal Prostate Cancer: A Major Step Towards Precision OncologyArmen Aprikian, Simone Chevalier, Fred Saad
Precision oncology for pancreatic, biliary tract and ampullary cancers: strengthening molecular clinical trials with real-world patient cohorts from the Quebec Pancreas Cancer StudyGeorge Zogopoulos, William Foulkes, Zu-hua Gao, Guillaume Bourque
Bridging Genomics and Radiomics for Real-time Clinical Decision-making in Lung CancerAlan Spatz, Reza Forghani, Jason Agulnik, Victor Cohen, Hangjun Wang, Andreas I. Papadakis