Results of the October 2022 Breakthrough Team Grants Competition

CCS’s newly released research strategy centers people at its core and aims to deliver results that will significantly improve the outlook for people affected by cancer in Canada. Despite significant increases in survival for many of the 22 most common cancers, there are six primary cancers for which the overall predicted 5-year net survival is less than 30%: pancreas, esophagus, brain, lung, liver and stomach cancers.  Our goal is to support creative and innovative research on each of these cancers to drive progress and transform outcomes.

CCS launched the Breakthrough Team Grants: Transforming Low Survival Cancers competition in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Institute of Cancer Research (CIHR-ICR) in May, 2022.

We are pleased to announce the results of this competition.

In partnership with


Transforming Low Survival Cancers

The intent of the CCS Breakthrough Team Grants: Transforming Low Survival Cancers is to bring together the sharpest minds and research talent from across Canada and beyond. By combining scientific, clinical, and patient expertise, in a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment and integrating the power of new technologies and interventions, we hope to find new ways to prevent the onset of these six cancers, improve survival through early detection when the disease is at its most treatable, including the early detection of recurrence and metastatic spread, and develop more precise and effective treatments with fewer harmful side effects.

Expert Review Process

34 abstract registrations were received by the July 26, 2022 deadline and 31 full applications were received at the October 19, 2022 deadline. Applications were assessed by three expert review panels (Brain, Esophageal/Stomach/Liver, Lung/Pancreas) comprised of national and international scientific experts, as well as patient/survivor/caregiver reviewers with lived experience. Ten applications have been approved for funding – corresponding to a 32% success rate. These projects, with support from generous funding partners, total over $55 million in funding over 5 years.

Investment by cancer site

CCS Breakthrough Teams

Changing the narrative of lung cancer to improve prevention for non-smokers 

Leveraging artificial intelligence to detect lung cancer earlier in more people

Testing new treatments for people with incurable brain cancers

Establishing a non-invasive approach to accurately diagnose and assess brain tumours

Engaging patients in improving nutrition for people with stomach cancer

Tailoring treatments for people with esophageal cancer

Building a national network to drive research discoveries and expand access to immunotherapies for people with biliary tract cancers 

Establishing a comprehensive research strategy to improve pancreatic cancer survival

Killing cancer cells by stopping them from using oxygen and sugar

Engaging people with gene mutations to detect cancer earlier with a blood test

Research Investment Goal

Prevent - fewer people in Canada will develop cancer
Detect - fewer people will be diagnosed with Stage 3 or Stage 4 cancer
Care - people with cancer will live longer and with improved quality of life during and after treatment
Champion - equitable and timely access to innovative and affordable high-quality care for more people in Canada

See: for more information


Investment by Research Area

Results by career stage

 Early career, mid-career and senior investigators assumed their first independent academic appointment < 5, 5-15 and >15 years from the time of application, respectively, with time deducted for COVID-19 and personal absences

Results by gender identity

Man includes transgender. Woman includes transgender.

Investment by province of PI