Scientific research is the engine that drives improvements in cancer prevention, detection and care. Today, cancer patients in Ontario live longer and enjoy a better quality of life because of advancements stemming from research. Recognizing the critical importance of research, Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) is taking steps to ensure that new knowledge, which can reduce the burden of cancer, is transferred as quickly and effectively as possible from research laboratories and into the cancer system.
Four Research Networks
Cancer Care Ontario’s research program is organized around our newly established scientist network program that links researchers across Ontario, and supports their efforts to translate research findings into clinical practice, including clinical trials. The research networks focus on four important areas:
1. Cancer imaging - The use of imaging technology such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), computed tomography (CT), and ultrasound to pinpoint cancers in the body and to monitor and understand their establishment, growth and spread.
2. Health services - Studying the ways in which cancer prevention, screening and care services are best delivered to the population to improve outcomes.
3. Population studies - Studying large groups of people to understand the factors that influence the risk for getting cancer, the ways that cancer can be prevented or detected early, as well as factors that influence how cancer progresses and responds to treatment.
4. Experimental therapeutics - The development and eventual translation into clinical practice of therapeutic technologies for cancer, including new drugs and medical device-based treatments.
Cancer Care Ontario Research Chairs Program
In 2008 CCO launched a Cancer Care Ontario Research Chairs Program to help ensure Ontario has a critical mass of scientists focused on the translation of research for the benefit of cancer patients and the cancer system.
Provincial Research Programs
In addition to our focus on the four research networks, Cancer Care Ontario continues to support a number of Provincial Research Programs.
Ontario Clinical Oncology Group
This program focuses on descriptive and analytic epidemiology as well as applied research in in behavioural science and biostatistics.
Division of Cancer Care and Epidemiology (CCE) of the Queen’s Cancer Research Institute (incorporating the Radiation Oncology Research Unit)
The focus of this program is to develop and evaluate cancer-specific decision aids; evaluate effectiveness and efficiency of treatment programs; medical and surgical oncology outcomes; and environmental epidemiology.
Supportive Cancer Care Research Unit
Research from this unit emphasizes health services research, primarily on the quality of supportive care and information exchange.
Research here focuses on descriptive and analytic epidemiology, as well as applied research in behavioral science and biostatistics.
Ontario Cancer Genetics Network
The OCGN is a province-wide, multidisciplinary research network through which researchers conduct studies on familial and inherited cancer. Findings are translated into clinical practice.
Odette Cancer Centre Preventive Oncology Program
The goals of this program are to conduct research in cancer prevention and cancer screening, and provide training for scientists.
Cancer Care Ontario works in close partnership with the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. Find out more about this partnership, and about Cancer Care Ontario’s research activities and programs in the Research section of our web site.