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TFRI News | August 19, 2021

The TFRI launches open call for white papers for the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network

The Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) is pleased to announce a first call for White Papers for the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network (MOHCCN).  The purpose of the call for white papers presents an opportunity for researchers interested in precision medicine for cancer through the use of molecular (‘omic) datasets to describe a current question with significant potential for impact on outcomes for patients.

The deadline for White Paper submissions has been extended to November 1st, 2021.

See the full call below, or download the PDF in English or French.



The Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network (‘MOHCCN’) is an exciting new program managed by the Terry Fox Research Institute (‘TFRI’) with support from the federal government.  The MOHCCN’s mission is to bring together leading cancer centres across Canada to collaborate on precision medicine to benefit cancer patients and drive innovation.

Inspired by Terry Fox’s courage and dedication through his 1980 Marathon of Hope, for our initial program, the MOHCCN will generate and share molecular, clinical, and health outcomes data on Canadian cancer patients.  The MOHCCN will operate on a partnership model, requiring investments and matching cash contributions to be made by all partners. 

It is envisioned that the MOHCCN will: (i) unite cancer centres around a national cancer strategy in precision medicine by embedding research and innovation into the cancer clinic, (ii) share knowledge and resources to impact the health outcomes of patients, (iii) align investments of foundations and the pharmaceutical sector to match the federal investment to steer activities to benefit all Canadians, and (iv) position Canada as a global leader in cancer research.

Our initial program will create a shareable databank of 15,000 Canadian cancer cases focused on four key scientific questions.

  1. Addressing determinants of treatment failure of immunotherapy/precision cancer medicine.
  2. Investigating temporal and spatial heterogeneity of tumours.
  3. Evaluating the clinical validity and utility of genomics for real-time clinical decision making.
  4. Discovering the cancer biology and genomics of rare subtypes.

The Opportunity

This is the first open call to the Canadian cancer community for white papers describing a current question with significant potential for impact on outcomes for patients using the MOHCCN model.  Specifically, this call is open to researchers interested in precision medicine of cancer through the use of molecular (‘omic) datasets (deadline extended to November 1, 2021).

It is important that the white paper reflects a cross-section of input from the Canadian scientific and clinical cancer communities.  While there is no designated format for white papers submitted in response to this call we encourage conciseness and consideration of feasibility and scope.  TFRI has provided a template below to help guide submitters in providing the most useful information for review.


The purpose of this call for white papers is to identify important questions / problems in treating Canadian cancer patients using precision medicine approaches across multiple centres that can be addressed over a three to five year time period.


The white paper should say why the question / problem is important.  The white paper should outline the challenges faced in addressing the question / problem, before describing potential approaches to address the question / problem using the MOHCCN model outlined above.  Illustrations and references should be included to provide context and evidence of approaches used to date to address the question /problem.  In its call to action, the white paper should describe the evidence and actions that will be required to impact cancer outcomes by cancer control systems in Canada and around the world.


Identify the key authors involved in writing the white paper, providing their contact information.  Participation of any author is welcome.  There is no pre-requisite that an author be affiliated with a designated Marathon of Hope Cancer Centre.  Please make it clear whether the white paper reflects primarily the ideas of the authors, or whether they reflect discussions of a wider community, providing details of the status of consultations.  


MOH Network Council and its committees will evaluate your white paper based upon a number of factors including, but not limited to: 1) scientific excellence, 2) the importance of the clinical need, 3) the strategic importance/relevance of the white paper to the MOHCCN mission and goals, 4) potential for impact, and 5) capacity and readiness of the authors to deliver.

Next Steps

TFRI will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) in response to the White Papers’ questions, topics and issues for start of funding during 2022.


Please submit your white paper by October 1, 2021. Submissions should be sent to

If you need further information or have other questions please feel free to contact TFRI at