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Precision Medicine

Understanding the importance of investing in precision medicine.

New technologies are enabling researchers to gain a clearer picture of the genetic and biological makeup of cancer cells and the mutations that make them develop. This deeper understanding is helping to build a new framework for cancer research and care that will accelerate the pace of improvement in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of all cancers.

This new framework is known as precision medicine. Precision medicine takes the genetic make-up of each tumour – and the personal characteristics of each patient – into consideration, allowing doctors to provide the right treatment at the right time for each patient, improving survival and quality of life for people living with cancer.

While this new framework holds great potential, it is still in its early days. To make precision medicine a reality, leading researchers, oncologists, and institutions must work together with cancer patients to find new ways to collect and share clinical and genomic data. The creation of a large data set will allow researchers to apply new technologies to pinpoint the Achilles’ heel of each person’s cancer and find the best treatment option to exploit it.

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 accelerate the implementation of precision medicine in Canada, helping to make this promising framework for care and research a reality.

In 2018/19, roughly 25.5 per cent of the money invested by the TFRI supported precision medicine research. This added up to a total investment of $6.8 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.

Learn More About the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network

*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.