Media Release

Canadian Cancer Society to lead nation in cancer prevention and survivorship work with new innovation hub


Today, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is launching its Centre for Cancer Prevention and Support (CCPS) based in Vancouver, BC – a first-of-its-kind facility in Canada to lead new nationwide research and programs that address both ends of the cancer continuum - preventing cancer before it happens and addressing the challenges of life after cancer.

The creation of this nationwide hub deepens CCS’s commitment to cancer prevention and support to better take control of cancer and take action for the nearly half of Canadians who will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. More than 200,000 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer each year and while more are surviving than ever before, over 70% will experience significant physical and emotional challenges after treatment.

“Progress has been steady in diagnosing and treatment cancer but not enough investment is going towards the two ends of the cancer control continuum – preventing cancer before it happens and supporting those with cancer and those who survive. By developing this nationwide hub of researchers, service providers and community partners, we will be able to save and improve more lives across the country,” says Andrea Seale, CEO, CCS. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how powerful it can be when researchers come together, and has highlighted the need for innovation in the healthcare system to meet the needs of Canadians. CCPS will help to meet this need and propel progress against cancer.”

Through the Centre, CCS will augment funding for cancer prevention and survivorship research, bring researchers together, and connect them with the people and organizations that can bring research to life. CCS will work together with partners to increase awareness of new discoveries, connect evidence producers with evidence users, pilot innovations, and help spread those innovations nationwide. Through CCPS, CCS will also help encourage the development and adoption of new cancer prevention and support products and services that leverage cutting-edge scientific and technological advances. This will give Canadians improved access to new cancer prevention and support programs that improve their physical and mental health.

“To reduce the number of people who have cancer and better support those with cancer and who survive, we have to accelerate progress,” says Seale. "We want to see cancer innovations move from the lab to the community more quickly. CCPS will make this possible.”

Construction and programming is being supported by CCS donors in the Lower Mainland and all over Canada. Donors are essential to advancing cancer research and to CCS’s nationwide support programs.

The Government of British Columbia recognized the promise of the CCPS early on and was the first partner to support the construction of the Centre with $10 million in funding.

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health:

“A cancer diagnosis has touched nearly every family in B.C. and this new facility will help save lives through research leading to enhanced prevention, early diagnosis and supportive care. The centre is bringing together researchers, innovators, clinical support service providers, community partners, cancer patients and survivors to take discoveries from the lab and apply them to life, faster.”

George Heyman, MLA for Vancouver-Fairview and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy:

“Our government is committed to improve patients’ experience and continue to build upon some of the best cancer outcomes in the country. This facility will benefit so many fellow British Columbians as they get access to the life-changing supports they need.”

Selina Robinson, MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville and Minister of Finance:

“As a cancer survivor, I understand first-hand the sheer toll this disease takes, not only on the patients but on their families and loved ones. With this new centre, thousands of people living with cancer and their loved ones throughout B.C. will be able to access the new patient lodging facility, giving them a comfortable and specialized place to stay while they undergo cancer treatment in Vancouver.”

Centre for Cancer Prevention and Support initiatives

There are a number of projects and programs at the CCPS that are already underway or are confirmed to begin imminently. These include:

  • A $15.6 million grant program for 7 nationwide cancer survivorship research teams has been developed in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Cancer Research, with support from the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Representing the largest initiative in cancer survivorship research in Canada, the goal of these projects is to help people live fuller and healthier lives with and beyond cancer.

  • In collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Brain Canada and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada, CCS has awarded 27 SPARK grants amounting to $4 million have been awarded to teams leveraging new technologies and interventions to “spark” and accelerate development and/or application of truly novel approaches to cancer prevention and early detection.

  • A CCS partnership with University Health Network and the Princess Margaret Hospital to conduct a qualitative study to understand the unmet needs of adolescents and young adults with cancer after their treatment has ended. The goal of this partnership is to develop and pilot potential solutions for these unmet needs.

  • A partnership with the BC Ministry of Health has been formed to evaluate the impact of new regulations recently introduced to reduce e-cigarette use and sales amongst youth, compare cross-jurisdictional consumer behaviour, record industry changes and effects at the retail level, and identify policy elements most impactful to change behaviour.

To learn more about how a greater focus on prevention and survivorship could have benefitted cancer survivor Kathy Andrews, watch this video (EN, FR). For more information about the CCPS, please visit our website.


About the Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society works tirelessly to save and improve lives. We fund the brightest minds in cancer research. We provide a compassionate support system for all those affected by cancer, from coast to coast and for all types of cancer. As the voice for Canadians who care about cancer, we work with governments to establish health policies to prevent cancer and better support those living with the disease. No other organization does all that we do to improve lives today and to change the future of cancer forever. Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit today.

For more information, please contact:
Sheila Dong
Director, Strategic Communications
Canadian Cancer Society