There have been a number of activities under way since the Government of Canada’s announcement in March 2019 that it would provide up to $150 million over the next five years to support the creation of the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network:
- Notably, on April 12 in St. John’s, Newfoundland, TFRI formally kicked off the launch of the pan-Canadian network with the participation and support of stakeholders. See the event video here.
- On May 23, TFRI and Imagia (Montreal) were awarded up to $49 million from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s Strategic Innovation Fund (Stream 4) for the creation of a Digital Health and Discovery Platform that will empower the new Network and leverage new disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence with pan-Canadian partners. See announcement details here.
- TFRI’s leadership continues to work with federal government officials to finalize details related to the funding of the Network, its activities and deliverables for the five-year funding period
- TFRI is working with leadership of the three developmental projects TFRI has already funded (in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec) to define the scope of collaborative research and linkage in precision medicine that will deliver on the goals of the Network.
- TFRI has received proposals from cancer consortia in the Atlantic and Prairie provinces to undertake regional developmental projects over the next two years, with the goal of becoming designated members of the Network by 2021.
- TFRI is designing a designation process that will pre-qualify centres and consortia through peer review to participate in the Network.TFRI expects that the first round of designations will be offered in 2020, with a second round of designations to follow in 2021.
- A key Network deliverable is the creation of a 15,000 high-quality sharable dataset of cancer cases (with genomic, imaging, clinical and outcome data) completed by 2023.
- Regional townhalls are planned in the next few months to continue to inform the cancer research community about the opportunities related to the Network.
The collaboration and sharing of data and expertise within the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network will result in a vibrant digital learning ecosystem that builds upon the collective strengths of Canadian Cancer Centres.
The Digital Learning Ecosystem is a patient - centred initiative integrating the efforts of Cancer Centres, Research Institutes, and Technology Providers to offer precision medicine solutions to patients based on learning what works and what does not from the knowledge databank created.