Lab Canada

Cancer research centre to focus research efforts in Ontario

Toronto, ON – Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) – the first collaborative research institute in Canada to focus efforts on the entire spectrum of cancer issues – has officially opened.

Ontario’s provincial government says it is committing $142 million over four years to create the institute. Working with public and private sector partners, researchers from across the province will work together on a coordinated strategy to fight cancer – from the need for better prevention and early detection to more targeted diagnosis and more effective treatments. As a major hub for cancer research, the OICR will also partner with other leading provincial, national and international cancer research institutions to advance research opportunities.

In the past, the government’s cancer research funds were distributed piecemeal to different researchers and research teams. This meant that “big picture” ideas with great promise did not receive funding because the research required many teams working together toward a common goal. With the creation of the OICR, researchers and caregivers can now pursue bigger ideas by working together and sharing information and resources.

“Investment in cancer research holds the key to our ability to prevent, and continually improve cancer detection and treatment,” says Dr Terry Sullivan, president and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario. “The research generated through the OICR will enable us to reduce the risk of cancer and lead to better care for Ontario patients in the future.”

Part of the government’s funding includes $65.2 million to support ongoing research programs under the Ontario Cancer Research Network – a provincially funded not-for-profit organization that transforms promising laboratory research into new treatments. Of that $65.2 million, the government says that $21.3 million has been awarded to nine academic and research institutions, and two research consortia across Ontario as part of the network’s next funding phase.