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Brain Cancer

Understanding the key facts and figures about brain cancer research.

In Canada, an estimated 3,200 people were diagnosed with brain (and spinal cord) cancer in 2023. These cancers affect both children and adults, and often have low survival rates. In many cases, those who survive brain cancers are left with long-term physical and cognitive side effects.

There are over 120 different types of brain tumours, and each varies in risk. Some are aggressive and lethal and have no known treatment, while others can be treated with therapies that often yield life-altering side effects. A small percentage can be cured with moderate treatment. Differentiating aggressive forms of brain cancer early on can ensure that appropriate treatment is given for each individual patient, reducing the risk that treatment will have an unnecessary impact on a patient’s quality of life.

Today, high-mortality rates, ineffective treatments and poor quality of life for those who survive the disease make brain cancer a pressing health issue in Canada.

Our Research Strategy

Given these challenges, the Terry Fox Research Institute has embarked on a multi-pronged strategy to fund the best brain cancer scientific teams and programs in the country.

In 2022/2023, roughly 7 per cent of the money invested by the TFRI supported brain cancer research. This added up to a total investment of $953,000.*

To allocate its resources, the Institute has international experts evaluate the excellence and the potential for impact of all its 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.