Government of Canada invests $23 million in pediatric cancer research

News release

New federal funding is the largest investment in childhood cancer research in Canada to date

January 18, 2023 – Toronto, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Cancer is the leading cause of death from disease in children and adolescents in Canada. Approximately 10,000 children are living with cancer in this country and 1,500 more are diagnosed every year. That is why, in Budget 2021, the Government of Canada provided new funding for pediatric cancer research that will lead to better outcomes and longer, healthier lives for young cancer patients.

Today, Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Sport, and Pam Damoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, announced, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, $23 million in funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to establish the Canadian Pediatric Cancer Consortium (CPCC). This represents the largest investment in childhood cancer research in Canada to date. The Consortium will be led by Dr. David Malkin and Dr. Jim Whitlock at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto and Pediatric Cancer Advocate Adrienne Co-Dyre in London, Ontario.

The CPCC’s vision is for every child in Canada with cancer to have access to the latest scientific advances, diagnostic tools, therapies, and supportive care to help support better outcomes and a better quality of life. It will do this by strengthening research, health supports, and clinical expertise in pediatric cancers through the creation of a national network of clinicians, researchers, community of practice caregivers, patients and their families. By the end of the two-year funding period, the CPCC will have a framework on which to build and enable Canadian-led early phase clinical trials, faster access for patients to innovative technologies, therapies and care, a collaborative approach to education and training, and a robust network of national and international partnerships.

Quotes

“Dedicated funding for childhood cancer research is important because pediatric cancers cannot be treated like adult cancers. Young cancer patients deserve the best that science has to offer to help them live longer and healthier lives. Supporting the Canadian Pediatric Cancer Consortium and the work it will do will help us find new and better treatments so children who have cancer can grow, thrive, and lead productive lives.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“Congratulations to Dr. David Malkin, Dr. Jim Whitlock, Adrienne Co-Dyre, and all the researchers, clinicians, patients, families, and partners who will be part of this remarkable initiative. This Consortium will harness the strengths of the pediatric cancer community across the country and lead us to new treatments and better outcomes for children with cancer and their families.”

Adam van Koeverden
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Sport

“The Canadian Pediatric Cancer Consortium will establish a foundation for coordinated research and knowledge mobilization, as well as training for the next generation of childhood cancer researchers in Canada. This will have a real impact on improving the health outcomes and quality of life of children affected by cancer in this country.”

Dr. Fei-Fei Liu
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Cancer Research

“The Canadian Pediatric Cancer Consortium will help support transformative change in the delivery of cancer care and research to all Canadian children, bringing together patient and family advocates, clinicians and researchers from across Canada. By harnessing Canada’s collective capacity for world-leading science and clinical programs, the CPCC will establish a foundation for a national pediatric cancer strategy to deliver fast, fair, effective and safe care to all children with cancer.”

Dr. David Malkin, CPCC Co-Lead and Staff Oncologist and Senior Scientist, SickKids &
Dr. Jim Whitlock, CPCC Co-Lead and Head of Division of Haematology/Oncology, SickKids

“The pediatric cancer community is coming together with patients and families to forge a new path for health care in Canada. The challenges facing pediatric cancer patients are unique and require unique solutions. This Canadian Pediatric Cancer Consortium sends the message that our call for more supports during and after treatment have been heard, and that our children deserve more – more access to the highest quality care, novel treatments and opportunities to live longer and healthier lives.”

Adrienne Co-Dyre
CPCC Co-Lead and Pediatric Cancer Advocate

Quick facts

  • The Pediatric Cancer Consortium is one of several ways CIHR, the Government’s health research investment agency, supports pediatric cancer research. The agency also finances individual pediatric cancer research projects.  For example, CIHR has invested more than $3.1 million through its flagship funding initiative, the Project Grant program.

  • CIHR has invested more than $1 billion in cancer research over the past five years (2016-17 to 2020-21). New scientific knowledge acquired in one area of cancer research increases the total knowledge brought to bear in all areas of research into cancer, including those that affect children and adolescents.

  • CIHR is committed to working with other health research funders, such as the Canadian Cancer Society, the Cancer Research Society, Genome Canada, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and the Terry Fox Research Institute, to support investments into pediatric cancer.

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Contacts

Guillaume Bertrand
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
613-957-0200

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
mediarelations@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

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