Pre-announcement : CCS Breakthrough Team Grants: Transforming Low Survival Cancers
The Canadian Cancer Society and partners are excited to announce the upcoming launch of a new funding opportunity, the CCS Breakthrough Team Grants: Transforming Low Survival Cancers. These grants will bring together the sharpest minds and research talent from across Canada and beyond, combining scientific and clinical expertise, with lived experience in a collaborative interdisciplinary environment. The goal is to develop and sustain a critical mass of researchers and resources, equipped to generate breakthroughs in survival and quality of life for cancers of unmet need.
Since the 1990s there has been a significant increase in survival for many of the 22 most common cancers, with the projected 5-year survival for seven of these cancers now surpassing 80% However, within this group there remain six primary cancers for which the overall predicted 5-year net survival is less than 30% (Canadian Cancer Statistics). These cancers are:
- pancreas (10%)
- oesophagus (16%)
- brain (20%)
- lung (22%)
- liver (22%)
- stomach (29%)
A combination of factors is responsible for the relatively modest improvements in survival for these six cancers. For example, there is frequently a lack of identifiable risk factors, sensitive screening technologies, validated clinical targets, effective treatment options, and research capacity and resources. In most cases there is also a lack in the research capacity, tools and resources needed to drive progress.
This pre-announcement is a “call to action’” to give the research, clinical and patient communities an opportunity to start thinking creatively together about the best, the boldest, and the most innovative approaches towards transforming outcomes and reducing the number of Canadians dying from these six cancers.
Program Overview @(Model.HeadingTag)>
Achieving real progress in these six cancers will require an approach that is different from the status quo, one that brings together multiple perspectives to focus on a common goal.
Success will require us to consolidate and build on the available expertise across Canada and internationally, to bring the best minds together and build or leverage resources and infrastructures through the formation of large interdisciplinary teams. These teams may vary in composition and focus depending on the cancers(s) under study and the current knowledge base, but in general will be expected to include patients/caregivers, clinicians and allied health professionals, cancer researchers from multiple health themes, potential end-users of the new knowledge generated, and expertise and resources from other fields such as engineering, AI, machine learning, chemistry, nanoscience, and computational science, where appropriate. Teams spanning several Canadian provinces and engaging international collaborators, where appropriate, to extend capacity and leverage existing resources, are strongly encouraged.
We are hoping that each of the six cancers will be represented among funded teams either as the sole focus of a project or in combination with other cancers in the group that may have a similar clinical presentation or molecular features.
Following submission of the non-competitive LOI, we plan to bring applicants teams together, virtually, to share short lay presentations on their proposed projects with our patient advisory group, CCS staff and partners. This event will enable LOI teams to identify potential areas for collaboration in order to build the strongest teams possible and also provide a forum for dialogue with patients/caregivers with the lived experience of the cancers under study. CCS and partners will also work with the funded teams throughout the granting period to leverage outcomes and accelerate progress.
The objectives of this funding opportunity are to: