Prairie Cancer Research Consortium

The overall vision of the Prairie Cancer Research Consortium (PR2C) is to create a collaborative, inclusive, equitable, and sustainable multiprovincial initiative that works towards developing new treatment strategies for patients facing cancer by enabling precision cancer medicine research and accelerating its implementation into practice.

Officially designated as a part of the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network in December 2021, the PR2C brings together researchers and clinicians at the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, the University of Calgary, the Cancer Research Institute of Northern Alberta, the University of Alberta, Alberta Health Services (Cancer Care Alberta; Cross Cancer Institute and Tom Baker Cancer Centre), the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, University of Saskatchewan, Cancer Care Manitoba, and the University of Manitoba.

During its first year, the PR2C will contribute patient data derived from four projects focused on multiple myeloma, prostate cancer, glioblastoma, and soft-tissue sarcomas.

Goals and Objectives

Building on the unique expertise and infrastructure that already exists in the region, PR2C members will work towards three major goals:

  1. To accelerate the real-world application of precision oncology for cancer patients, including patients in rural and remote parts of the Prairies who may not have been eligible for clinical trials in the past;
  2. To strengthen the alignment between academic centres and health systems, supporting research that answers important clinical questions, now and in the future; and
  3. To train and educate the next generation of clinicians and scientists in precision oncology.



Expression of interest proposals were requested to identify patient cohorts to become part of the PR2C and the MOHCCN. A review panel comprised of eight individuals with expertise in cancer research, both from a strategic perspective and from a cancer genomicis lens, and representing all PR2C institutions was convened to determine alignment wiht the MOHCCN. Criteria included scientific and clinical merit, feasibility and readiness, ability to share data, and availability of matching funds.

ProjectsProject leads
Immunogenomics to decipher mediators of resistance to immune-mediated therapies in Multiple myelomaDr. Nizar Bahlis and Dr. Paola Neri
Understanding therapeutic resistance in glioblastomaDr. Jennifer Chan and Dr. Sorana Morrissy
Precision target discovery in high-risk soft tissue sarcomaDr. Michael Monument and Dr. Sorana Morrissy
Toward precision health management of prostate cancer patientsDr. John Lewis and Dr. Tarek Bismar
Young Women with Breast CancerDr. Carrie Shemanko
Understanding clonal evolution in CLL in an evolving treatment environmentDr. Versha Banerji
Predictors of disease relapse in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (ES-NSCLC)Dr. Shantanu Banerji
Investigating mechanisms of lymph node metastasis in oral cancerDr. Pinaki Bose and Martin Hyrcza
Precision care and comprehensive research strategy for ovarian cancer patients:  Beyond PARP inhibitorsDr. Laura Hopkins
Characterizing genomic signatures in predicting renal cell carcinoma therapy responseDr. Tarek Bismar and Daniel Heng