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Coming together to improve outcomes for cancer patients in Atlantic Canada through precision medicine

This project has been completed

With a commitment to work together and $3.6 million in new funding from provincial and national partners, doctors and scientists at leading cancer centres, hospitals and research in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland & Labrador have formed an alliance focused on providing improved cancer outcomes.

The group will work together under a joint pilot project over two years with the goal of becoming a member in the Terry Fox Research Institute’s new Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network (MOHCCN), a novel and federally funded pan-Canadian network to accelerate precision medicine for cancer patients.

"We are extremely happy to officially launch the Atlantic Cancer Consortium (ACC) and to see funding and research partners across the region come together for the first time ever to work on this important project," said Dr. Sherri Christian, ACC project leader and immunologist at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s. "Our goal is to harness the talent that already exists in the region to solve cancer problems that affect our diverse populations."

TFRI is providing ACC $1.5 million over two years, with other national and provincial partners providing matching funds in kind and in cash.

“This is a remarkable achievement for cancer research and care in Atlantic Canada as well as across the country. We are extremely grateful to our national and regional partners for their financial contributions, and for their trust in this novel approach, a new roadmap for accelerating precision medicine for patients,” said Dr. Tony Reiman, TFRI’s Atlantic Node Leader, ACC co-investigator, and medical oncologist, Saint John Regional Hospital.

Consortium members will be involved in five sub-projects that will: create the Atlantic Canada Biobank Consortium (ACBC): the inter-provincial integration of biological material and clinical data from patients treated within the ACC, develop a bioinformatics core for data sharing between centres, enrich and expand the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute trainee program for young investigators and launch two scientific research projects focusing on lung cancer and colorectal cancer.

“This collaboration in our Atlantic region is a key milestone in our quest to create a pan-Canadian network of cancer research centres that is not only transformational, but is also inclusive and truly representative of our diverse Canadian reality,” said Dr. Jim Woodgett, TFRI president and scientific director. “Our hope is that members of this consortium will join the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network as designated members in the next year.”

When designated, the ACC will join the Quebec Cancer Consortium, the BC Cancer Consortium and the Ontario-based Princess Margaret Cancer Consortium as full members of the MOHCCN, as well as the Prairies Cancer Research Consortium, expected to join later this year.

The MOHCCN is funded with a $150-million contribution from the Government of Canada, to be matched by research partners. The MOHCCN is creating linkages between researchers and institutions across Canada, enabling cancer researchers to share data, knowledge and resources like never before. This is helping create the Team Canada of Cancer Research, which will work together to advance precision medicine for all Canadians.

To learn more about the ACC, visit the project mini-site at:


Nova Scotia:

  • Dalhousie University
  • Nova Scotia Health - QEII Health Sciences Centre

    New Brunswick:

    • Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre
    • Vitalité Health Network
    • Saint John Regional Hospital
    • Horizon Health Network
    • Atlantic Cancer Research Institute

    Newfoundland & Labrador:

    • Memorial University of Newfoundland
    • Eastern Health  



    • Terry Fox Research Institute
    • MITACS Canada
    • AstraZeneca Canada
    • Pfizer Canada
    • Hoffmann-La Roche Limited

    Nova Scotia:

    • Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute (BHCRI)
    • QEII Foundation
    • Research Nova Scotia

    New Brunswick:

    • New Brunswick Health Research Foundation
    • New Brunswick Innovation Foundation

    Newfoundland & Labrador:

    • Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN)
    • Department of Industry, Energy and Technology, Govt. of Newfoundland & Labrador