In 2017, an estimated 80,000 people died from cancer in Canada. Most of these deaths were caused by secondary tumours, or metastasis, that break away from primary tumours and spread to other areas of the body, obstructing organ function wherever they go.
While metastatic tumours are responsible for most cancer-related deaths, there are very few treatment options that focus on them. In fact, researchers still know very little about metastatic tumours and why they don’t respond to treatment in the same way as primary tumours.
Today, understanding the major differences between primary and metastatic tumours and finding new ways to treat late stage cancers that have spread to other parts of the body is a pressing issue in cancer research.
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 focus on understanding metastasis more clearly in order to create treatments that effectively target metastatic tumours.
In 2019/20, roughly 6.7 per cent of the money invested by the TFRI supported cancer metastasis research. This added up to a total investment of $21.4 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.