skip to main content
Cancer Drugs

Understanding the importance of investing in cancer drugs.

Researchers are constantly searching for better ways to treat cancer. This often involves developing new drugs that target specific aspects of cancer cells with the hopes of disabling them to improve survival and quality of life for people living with this often-deadly disease. 

The process of creating new cancer drugs is slow. Before a drug can even be considered for clinical use, researchers spend years studying the unique vulnerabilities of specific cancer cells and creating compounds to exploit these vulnerabilities. Testing then begins in vitro and eventually moves on to animal models. Only if a new drug proves to be effective and safe will clinical trials in humans begin. This process often takes many years and significant resources and does not guarantee translation to the clinic.

Today, there is an urgent need to develop new drugs that reduce harmful side effect for patients and tackle hard-to-treat cancers more effectively.

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 seek to develop new drugs for cancer treatment.

In 2022/23, roughly 3 per cent of the money invested by the TFRI supported cancer drug research. This added up to a total investment of $383,000.*

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 or topic. The figures listed above are an estimate and should not be taken as exact figures.