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The Terry Fox Research Institute

Expanding our research portfolio

Since its inception, the TFRI has invested in groundbreaking scientific projects that accelerate discoveries for the benefit of cancer patients. Today, this investment expands beyond our flagship basic science and translational research programs. With support from partners across the country, including the Government of Canada, we now lead two innovative projects that embody Terry Fox's spirit and unite our country to improve the lives of cancer patients through precision medicine: the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network and the Digital Health and Discovery Platform.

Digital Health and Discovery Platform (DHDP) Logo

Digital Health and Discovery Platform (DHDP)

The DHDP is a pan-Canadian initiative co-led by the TFRI and supported by the Government of Canada. The DHDP provides the cutting-edge technological and policy infrastructure needed to share and analyze large amounts of health data generated through the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network, allowing us to improve health outcomes for Canadians through the advancement of precision medicine for cancer and other diseases.

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Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network Logo

Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network

The MOHCCN is an unprecedented collaboration led by the TFRI and supported by the Government of Canada that unites the country’s top cancer hospitals and research centres to create the Team Canada of Cancer Research. Just like Terry’s Marathon of Hope united Canadians under a single vision, the Network unites our cancer research community, empowering them to work together to make precision medicine for cancer a reality for all Canadians.

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Uncovering the role of long noncoding RNAs in myeloid leukemia

A 2022 Terry Fox New Investigator Award will help a BC scientist search for new therapeutic targets for leukemia in a poorly understood area of science: the non-coding regions of the genome. Dr. Ly Vu, a scientist at the Terry Fox Laboratory at BC Cancer, will receive $450,000 over three years from the Terry Fox Research Institute to conduct her study, which hopes to reveal new ways to treat patie...

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Characterization and treatment response of Hippo pathway regulated tumour microenvironments

To grow, cancers overcome a series of biological mechanisms that control our normal cell functions. The “Hippo” pathway is one of these mechanisms. When it’s working correctly, it ensures that cells multiply normally and tissue grows without a problem. But when something goes wrong with it, problems develop: cells reproduce uncontrollably, tissue balloons in size, and tumours are...

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Optimizing Therapy for Hepatocellular Carcinoma via Image-guided Porphysome delivery

An early-career clinician-scientist in Toronto is hoping to turn the tide on a deadly form of liver cancer with new funding from the Terry Fox Research Institute. Liver transplant specialist and clinician-scientist Dr. Mamatha Bhat (Ajmera Transplant Centre-University Health Network and Toronto General Hospital Research Institute) will use the funds from her recent Terry Fox New Investigator Award...

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Targeting host energy metabolism to combat cancer

A Montreal-based researcher at McGill University is hoping to shed new light on potential links between obesity and liver metastases thanks to new funding from the Terry Fox Research Institute. Dr. Lawrence Kazak, an adipocyte biology specialist and assistant professor at the Rosalind & Morris Goodman Cancer Institute, will receive $450,000 over three years to advance this research after being...

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Atlantic Cancer Consortium Pilot for the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network

With a commitment to work together and $3.6 million in new funding from provincial and national partners, doctors and scientists at leading cancer centres, hospitals and research in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland & Labrador have formed an alliance focused on providing improved cancer outcomes. The group will work together under a joint pilot project over two years with the goal of...

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Determinants of stemness that underlie high risk or relapse disease

There’s an analogy that Dr. John Dick likes to use to describe cancer. For him, cancer is like a weed, with the tumour being the leafy part that sits above ground. The roots, on the other hand, are the cells that initiate and sustain a cancer’s growth. “Like a weed, cancer can only be killed if the root is removed entirely,” says Dr. Dick, a senior scientist at Toronto&rsqu...

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Targeting the Hippo Signaling Network in Cancer

  • Jeff Wrana / Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute

In order to grow, cancers must overcome a series of mechanisms that control the normal functioning of our cells. One such mechanism is known as the “Hippo” pathway. “The main job of this pathway is to control tissue size,” explains Dr. Jeff Wrana, a senior investigator at Toronto’s Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute (LTRI) at Sinai Health. “When this pathway...

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Access to precision therapies for young people with cancer: From genomic innovation to health system implementation

In recent years, new technologies have enabled researchers to gain a clearer understanding of the genetic mutations that cause cancer in each individual. These discoveries are ushering in a new era in cancer research and care known as precision medicine. Precision medicine has the potential to provide patients with treatment tailored to their individual cancer. But uncertainty about how effective ...

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Measuring and targeting symptom burden among adolescents and young adults with cancer: A population-based study using routinely collected patient reported outcomes

How does cancer affect adolescents and young adults with cancer? What kind of side effects do they experience from treatment and how do these symptoms affect their outcome? These are just some of the questions that Dr. Sumit Gupta, a pediatric oncologist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, will try to answer thanks to a recently granted Terry Fox New Investigators Award. Dr. G...

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Symptom Burden as a Predictor of Emergency Room Visits and Unplanned Hospitalizations in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer

A Toronto-based surgeon-scientist will use a recently granted Terry Fox New Investigator Award to study how symptoms associated with current therapies affect the lives of patients with head and neck cancers. Dr. Antoine Eskander (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the Sunnybrook Research Institute) will receive $450,000 over three years from the Terry Fox Research Institute and the Canadian Ins...

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Deciphering recurrence of glioblastoma for precision medicine using multi-omics data integration

A Toronto-based researcher will use integrative machine learning strategies try to turn the tide on a deadly brain cancer thanks to new funding provided by the Terry Fox New Investigator Award. Dr. Jüri Reimand, a computational biologist at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, will receive a total of $450,000 from the Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) and the Canadian Institutes of He...

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Deciphering the therapy-driven molecular evolution of glioblastoma stem cells

If you were to look inside a tumour, you’d notice that not all its cells are the same. In fact, over the past decade researchers have found that tumours contain several types of cells, each with specific functions and characteristics. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are one of these cell types. Often referred to as the initiating cells of cancer, studies have shown that CSCs often survive therapeut...

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  • Funding Programs

    The Terry Fox Research Institute functions as the research arm of The Terry Fox Foundation. In this capacity, the Institute invests and manages approximately $27 million in combined funding for discovery and translational research and training for future scientists and clinicians in cancer research.

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  • Our Research

    We know more about cancer today thanks to the biological, molecular and genomic discoveries, new technologies, tests and treatments made possible with research funding from The Terry Fox Foundation and through the translational work undertaken by TFRI. As a result, we have better ways to detect, diagnose and treat cancer today. This is helping cancer patients to live, to live longer and with a better quality of life.

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  • Terry Fox and the Terry Fox Foundation

    Terry Fox was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and raised in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, a community near Vancouver on Canada's west coast. An active teenager involved in many sports, Terry was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) and forced to have his right leg amputated 15 centimetres (six inches) above the knee in 1977.

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  • Digital Health and Discovery Platform

    The Digital Health and Discovery Platform (DHDP) is a pan-Canadian initiative that seeks to improve health outcomes for Canadians by deploying cutting-edge technologies that advance precision medicine.

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  • Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres

    The Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network is a bold vision led by The Terry Fox Research Institute and The Terry Fox Foundation with support from dozens of research and funding partners across Canada.

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Aimee Zeglinski-Spinney

Teen bone cancer survivor credits Terry Fox research advances for her survival

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Donna Goudard

“Let’s find something you can test for, and cure ovarian cancers!”

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Yves Tellier

Immunotherapy gives melanoma cancer survivor a second chance at life

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Luana Locke

Patient participates in study to help stop rare but deadly hereditary cancer before it strikes

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Debbie Duclos

Study participant benefits from “personalized chemotherapy” for breast cancer patients

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  • 2020/21 Facts

    • 26.6 Million Dollars for Cancer Research and Training
      Million Dollars for Cancer Research and Training
    • 47 currently funded projects for team science and research
      Funded Projects for team science and research
    • 98 Partners in Funding and Research
      Partners in Funding and Research