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Cancer Biology

Understanding the importance of investing in cancer biology.

The word ‘cancer’ is used to describe a broad spectrum of diseases that have one factor in common: uncontrolled cellular growth. But while this characteristic is common to all cancers, its root causes differ, and several biological factors – many of which we have yet to understand – are known to contribute to cancer development.

Researching the biology of each cancer is key to understanding the similarities and differences amongst cancers, as well as getting a clearer picture of why and how each cancer starts, grows and spreads. Only by understanding these factors can we develop new treatments that effectively target cancer.

Today, we do not have a comprehensive picture of why all cancers develop, grow and spread, which is why cancer biology remains an important area of research amongst cancer experts.

Our Research Strategy

At the Terry Fox Research Institute, we are bringing together the best researchers from the country's top cancer institutions to work on projects that are helping shed a brighter light on the biology of cancer.

In 2022/23, roughly 36 per cent of the money invested by the TFRI supported research into cancer biology. This added up to a total investment of $5 million.*

To allocate our resources, we ask international experts to evaluate the excellence and the potential for impact of all our research projects. This approach distinguishes our research investment strategy from all others in Canada and allows donors to be confident that their investment is supporting the top 5% of Canadian researchers and their science.

*Our scientific discovery projects are interdisciplinary by design and often focus on more than one cancer type. The figures listed above are an estimate and should not be taken as exact figures.