Pan-Canadian Projects

Abstract Canada network map

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 about this program.”

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. 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.