Calgary, AB – A landmark research portal that includes health and biological data from 300,000 Canadians – nearly one in every 50 individuals between the ages of 35 and 69 – was launched this week by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC).
“What makes the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP) portal so valuable and unique is the volume and variety of the information that has been collected,” said Dr. Heather Bryant, vice president of cancer control at the CPAC. “Researchers have access to health and lifestyle surveys, health outcome data and even biological samples like blood and toenail clippings. This lets them approach cancer and chronic disease from new angles; helping them dig deeper than ever before into its potential causes.”
The data can be used to conduct long-term population health studies, which look at people’s health, lifestyle or health risks. As study participants age, some may develop diseases such as cancer or heart disease. Researchers can then look back at their health data to search for factors that are linked to disease onset. These types of studies have pinpointed links between smoking and lung cancer, for example.
CPTP will accelerate research, improve the competitiveness of Canadian research and provide opportunities for made-in-Canada discoveries.
In addition, the platform’s wealth of information has been collected in a way that researchers worldwide can apply CPTP data to their own work or combine CPTP data with other global cohorts, allowing them to delve into rare cancers and chronic diseases as well.
“Given the complexity of cancer, we must study huge numbers of willing participants over a long period of time to uncover meaningful information about its risk factors. Thankfully, hundreds of thousands of Canadians have come forward to share their health information in hopes of unlocking the mystery of why some people develop cancer or other chronic diseases,” said Dr. Paula Robson, scientific director at the Alberta Tomorrow Project, which is one of five provincial partners involved in CPTP.
CPTP is designed to track participants for 20 to 30 years, giving researchers even more data for their vital work.
More information on CPTP and its coordinating partners, the data and how the platform can be accessed is available at www.partnershipfortomorrow.ca.