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Press Release | May 30, 2024

Leading Terry Fox-Funded Scientists Forge a New Era in Cancer Research

Over 100 Canadian cancer researchers signed an open letter calling for urgent support  

Toronto, ON, May 30, 2024 – Last week, the Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) held its 10th Scientific Meeting in Toronto, bringing together researchers, clinicians, trainees, program managers and patient advocates from across the country. Coinciding with the three-day conference, over 100 of the country’s leading voices in cancer research and care signed an open letter calling on Canadians to recognize the urgent need to fund collaborative cancer research in our country. 

Held every 18 months, the TFRI Scientific Meeting provides the Canadian cancer research community with a crucial mechanism for exchanging ideas and innovations. Over the course of the meeting, nearly 300 of the brightest scientific minds across the country, who conduct research funded through TFRI and the Terry Fox Foundation, came together to share studies and discoveries with the goal of accelerating collaboration to improve survival and quality of life for people living with cancer.

“Cancer still remains the leading cause of death in Canada and around the world, but we’re on the cusp of a renaissance in cancer research,” said Dr. Jim Woodgett, President and Scientific Director of the Terry Fox Research Institute. “Controlling cancer is becoming feasible. These advances are being enabled by new discoveries and groundbreaking tools to share and analyze data that are unlocking a new era in precision oncology and transforming our collective approach to the 200+ diseases that comprise ‘cancer.’”

As a result of the meeting, over 100 scientists signed an open letter, published today in the Globe & Mail, which states that the best path towards a cancer-free world is through data sharing and effective collaboration. The letter is an urgent call for Canadians far and wide to invest now in the future of cancer research. A future in which all patients – no matter where they live – can receive the very best standard of precise and personalized medicine. 

This kind of collaboration is being put into practice with TFRI’s Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network (MOHCCN), which today unites 35 of the country’s top cancer hospitals, research universities, and health authorities to accelerate precision oncology. This powerful and unprecedented pan-Canadian initiative enables the collection of high-quality data and the sharing of knowledge, tools and resources to detect and deliver more accurate diagnostics and more effective, personalized treatments for patients across the country by using genomic data.

Cancer patients played a significant role in the Scientific Meeting, including co-chairing sessions, participating as panelists, providing input to research presented by 80 students and fellows, and discussing the launch of a new Request for Proposals based on research questions and priorities determined by patients, underscoring MOHCCN’s commitment to involving patients, their perspectives and their priorities in research.

“Over the last four decades we have worked with Canadians towards achieving Terry’s dream of a world without cancer and we have made extraordinary strides, but there’s more work to be done,” said Michael Mazza, Executive Director of the Terry Fox Foundation. “While the goal of achieving Terry’s dream is audacious, the path is clear. Today, with MOHCCN and an approach to research rooted in extreme collaboration, we have more hope than ever before that we can make Terry’s dream a reality, but we need all Canadians to join us and lend their support.”

For more information about MOHCCN, visit To make a donation and learn about the impact donors can have, visit All proceeds will fund innovative cancer research, including MOHCCN here in Canada.

For a full list of people who are supporting this initiative, click here.



Kelly Curwin                             
Chief Communications Officer
Denise Dias
Vice President, Marketing & Communications    

About The Terry Fox Research Institute

Established in 2007, TFRI invests in world-class, collaborative cancer research teams and partnerships. Together with its research and funding partners, TFRI is working to inspire the transformation of cancer research in Canada by bringing together leading cancer research and treatment organizations from coast to coast and empowering them under the framework of the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network. Inspired by Terry Fox, we invest in highly collaborative, world-class scientific teams to drive research discoveries that improve and save the lives of cancer patients.

About The Terry Fox Foundation

The Terry Fox Foundation honours the vision and spirit of an iconic Canadian while raising critical funds for cancer research. As a leading national charitable organization, the Terry Fox Foundation plays a vital role in building community, engaging more than 20,000 passionate volunteers and 3.5 million students in nearly 10,000 annual fundraising events across the country. Through the generous support of our donors, partners, and volunteers, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised more than $900 million and funded 1,300 innovative cancer research projects, bringing hope and health to millions of Canadians.