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TFRI funded researchers are making a difference in all areas of cancer research, punching well above their weight in Canada and around the world. Here we highlight some of the most notable findings made by our teams.


New classification system for childhood brain cancer

In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted a new classification system for medulloblastoma, partially based on work by TFRI-funded researcher Dr. Michael Taylor.


An early detection protocol for people with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

A TFRI-funded team led by Dr. David Malkin has developed a universally adopted screening protocol for patients with a rare cancer-causing genetic disorder, improving their chances of survival.


A test that helps determine if patients with leukemia will respond to standard treatment

Dr. John Dick’s team has found a way to predict if leukemia patients will respond to standard treatment or not with the development of a novel, 17-gene signature test from leukemia stem cells. 


Predictive model for early detection of lung cancer

TFRI's pan-Canadian lung study team led by Dr. Stephen Lam developed a predictive model for detecting lung cancer in early stages when the disease has a greater potential to be curable. 


Study provides new hope for young people who are out of treatment options

As of October 2019, over 320 patients from every province in Canada were enrolled in Terry Fox PROFYLE, which sequences each child’s tumour with the goal of identifying new treatment options.

Our First Decade of Achievements, 2007-2018


  • TFRI Launches in October
  • National Biomarker Workshop is held (leads to several funded studies)


  • Lung, Ovarian, Oral, Prostate Translational Programs Launch
  • TFRI’s mission expands to include discovery research on dissolution of National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC)
  • TFF co-invests in Strategic Research Training Program with Canadian Institute of Cancer Research


  • TFRI launches New Investigator Program; holds Biomarker Validation Workshop
  • TFRI holds public dialogues across Canada to build awareness of translational research and precision/personalized medicine


  • TFRI launches pediatric brain cancer study (MAGIC) with Genome Canada
  • TFRI partners with Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick for trainee programs


  • TFRI launches GBM and colorectal studies (C4) in partnership with others


  • Canada-Taiwan project launches in partnership with NSC in Taiwan
  • Lung Lesion Nodule Calculator is published by Lung Study
  • TFRI takes over administration of PPGs (from CIHR and CCS)


  • TFRI expands international peer review to PPG programs;
  • New TFRI web site launches


  • TFRI holds Annual Scientific Meeting in St. John’s;
  • Partnerships with RubanRose allowed TFRI to fund a record number of PPGs (4); and with FRQS and BCCR to fund 6 NIs
  • Institute begins work on Cancer Centres Network


  • Translational programs for pediatric cancer (PROFYLE) and immunotherapy (Immunotherapy Network) are launched
  • TFRI launches its Links newsletter to highlight scientific advances


  • TFRI celebrates its 10th Anniversary at ASM
  • TFRI launches BC-ON Cancer Centres pilot
  • Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network brand is created


  • TFRI launches translational program in pancreatic cancer (EPPIC)
  • TFRI launches Montreal Cancer Consortium (MCC) pilot


  • Federal Government announces that it will invest up to $150M over five years to help create the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network

  • TFRI Refreshes its visual identity with new logo and website.

  • TFRI and its national and regional partners launch of the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network in St. John's, N.L., at the same place and on the same date as Terry Fox began his Marathon of Hope 39 years earlier.

  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada announces an investment of $49M to the Terry Fox Research Institute and Imagia to help create the Digital Health and Discovery Platform, the artificial intelligence platform that will empower the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network