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Event | June 07, 2024

TFRI's 10th Scientific Meeting brings cancer researchers, patients and oncologists from across Canada to Toronto

The Terry Fox Research Institute’s 10th Scientific Meeting, titled Accelerating Collaborations in Cancer Research, was held on May 24-26 in Toronto.

Nearly 300 delegates, including cancer patients, survivors and caregivers and researchers from projects funded through TFRI’s three main research programs – the TFRI Research Grants Program, the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network (MOHCCN) and the Digital Health and Discovery Platform (DHDP) – attended the event.

The meeting’s scientific program featured presentations from principal investigators and trainees from several TFRI-funded research teams, a demonstration of the DHDP, a tribute to stem cell pioneer Dr. Connie Eaves and exciting panel discussions about the importance of data sharing and the economics of precision medicine, among others. A Terry Fox Run led by Darrell Fox was also held, along with a gala dinner that included a tribute to Dr. Christopher Paige, who is stepping down as chair of TFRI’s Board, and a celebration of the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network, which reached an exciting milestone of 5,000 cases profiled as part of its Gold Cohort.

“Witnessing the groundbreaking research presented and observing the collaborative discussions between researchers, cancer patients, oncologists and administrators was truly inspiring,” says Dr. Jim Woodgett, TFRI President and Scientific Director. “The 10th Scientific Meeting served as an excellent reminder of one of Terry Fox's most important messages: that we are all a part of the Marathon of Hope and that we must all work together to find new ways to end cancer through research.”

Following the meeting, more than one hundred cancer researchers signed an open letter, published in the Globe and Mail, calling for accelerated collaborations between patients, researchers, oncologists and fundraisers across Canada to help accelerate Terry Fox’s goal of finding better ways to prevent, detect, diagnose and treat cancers through research.

Group shot

Rapid-Fire, Poster Session and Patients’ Choice Awards winners

The 10SM Organizing Committee would like to congratulate all the trainees who presented posters and rapid-fire talks. These individuals are the future of cancer research and an invaluable part of our research community. 

The following trainees received awards at the 10SM:

Rapid-Fire Talks

First place: Sumaiyah Rehman (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto) for Deciphering the role of drug tolerant persisters in cancer relapse


Second place: Gibran Edun (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto) for IRF5 defines a new high-risk inflammatory T-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia subtype


Third place: Khadjah AL Shankati (Princess Margaret Cancer Consortium [PM2C], Toronto) for Comprehensive whole genome and transcriptome analysis of advanced solid tumour patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy in the pan-cancer cohorts from the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network (MOHCCN) study

Poster Sessions

First place: Matt Waas (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto) for Droplet based proteomics reveals CD36 as a marker for progenitors in mammary basal epithelium


Second place: Bianca Bossé (CHUM Research Centre, Montreal) for Characterization of escape mechanisms from FOLFIRINOX-induced senescence of pancreatic tumour cells


Third place: Jasper Wong (Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, BC Cancer, Vancouver) for Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) does not rely on B cell receptor signalling for survival 


MOHCCN Patients’ Choice Awards

Members of the MOHCCN Patient Working Group also evaluated MOHCCN trainees on their ability to present their science to a lay audience. The winners of the first-ever MOHCCN Patients’ Choice Awards went to:

First place: Holly Lee (Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, University of Calgary) for Mechanisms of resistance to T-Cell immunotherapies in multiple myeloma


Second place: Tayah Sommer (Department of Biology, University of Prince Edward Island) for Metabolic differences across breast cancer tumours


Third place: Marie-Claire Wasson (Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax) for Profiling the transcriptome to identify novel genetic mediators of breast tumour immune suppression