The Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network is a bold vision, inspired by Terry Fox’s cross-country marathon to bridge all of Canada together to benefit people living with cancer in every province. The network, first officially announced in 2019, will link cancer centres across Canada in ways that allow them to share data, information, technology and knowledge with the goal of gaining much deeper insights into individual cancers that will accelerate the implementation of precision medicine for cancer.
"The agreement with Health Canada will enhance precision oncology research to benefit all Canadians,” says Dr. François Bénard, senior executive director of Research at BC Cancer. “The agreement will allow MOHCCN sites to share data and new technologies by collaborating with other MOHCCN-designated sites across the country, with the goal of improving access to cutting-edge precision oncology studies and enhance their impact on cancer care and clinical practice."
The centres being designated are the BC Cancer Consortium (BC Cancer lead), the Princess Margaret Cancer Consortium (Princess Margaret lead) and the Marathon of Hope – Quebec Cancer Consortium including hospitals and institutes affiliated with McGill University and the Université de Montréal.
“This is an exciting time in Canadian cancer research history. This Contribution Agreement with Health Canada marks a new chapter in our collective efforts to eradicate cancer by working together, inspired by Terry Fox’s dream of more than 40 years ago to end cancer through research,” says Dr. Victor Ling, TFRI President and Scientific Director. “This funding supports the work of TFRI and our partners, including those who today we are recognizing as founding cancer centres and our first designated members. We are starting to share data, resources and knowledge to improve outcomes for patients through precision medicine.”
Designation means these centres have successfully demonstrated their capability to collaborate and execute, at a world-class level, the key operational safety, security, clinical, scientific, training and technical requirements expected of network members. They will also be able to promote their membership in the network, demonstrating their commitment and dedication to working together to achieve Terry’s vision of finding cures for cancer through research.
“Canadians remember the bravery of Terry Fox and his fight against cancer. His legacy lives on through the Terry Fox Research Institute, which is doing important work to bring an end to this disease. Our partnership will allow the TFRI to bring together the best and brightest minds who carry on this fight – something that will benefit every Canadian,” says The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health.
The network partners aim to work together to match the up to $150-million that will be available over the next five years under the agreement with Health Canada. A full match will mean $300-million new dollars to support cancer research in Canada.
Cancer centres in the Atlantic and Prairie provinces are expected to apply to join the pan-Canadian Marathon of Hope network in the next round of designations. Each region is completing pilot project studies currently demonstrating preparedness to join and participate as designated members.
To read the full press release, visit the Terry Fox Research Institute website.