Canadian Pediatric Cancer Consortium launches to advance research in paediatric cancer care
Cancer is the leading cause of death from disease in children and adolescents in Canada, with 1,500 children newly diagnosed each year. In an important milestone for Canadian paediatric cancer care and research, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) today announced $23 million in funding to establish the Canadian Pediatric Cancer Consortium (CPCC).
Through the CPCC, a national network of clinicians, researchers, community of practice caregivers, patients and families is coming to together with the goal to transform paediatric cancer care delivery in Canada by improving access to the latest scientific advances, diagnostic tools, therapies and supportive care. The collaborative project involves paediatric centres and academic institutions from across the country.
Coming together to transform paediatric cancer care
In an event held at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Research Institute earlier today, research leaders and community advocates shared their vision for improved paediatric cancer care in Canada. At the event, Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Sport and Member of Parliament for Milton, joined the CPCC co-leads alongside Helena Kirk, a cancer patient advocate, and Dr. Fei-Fei Liu, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Cancer Research, to announce the new paediatric network.
“The Canadian Pediatric Cancer Consortium will establish a foundation for coordinated research and knowledge mobilization, as well as training for the next generation of childhood cancer researchers in Canada,” said Dr. Fei-Fei Liu, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Cancer Research. “This will have a real impact on improving the health outcomes and quality of life of children affected by cancer in this country.”
Increasing capacity and harnessing Canada’s paediatric oncology expertise
Co-led by Dr. David Malkin, Staff Oncologist and Senior Scientist at SickKids, Dr. Jim Whitlock, Head of the Division of Haematology/Oncology at SickKids, and paediatric cancer advocate Adrienne Co-Dyre, the consortium will create a framework to build and enable Canadian-led early-phase clinical trials to bolster Canada’s role in paediatric cancer research.
“By harnessing Canada’s collective capacity for world-leading science and clinical programs, the CPCC will establish a foundation for a national paediatric cancer strategy to deliver fast, fair, effective and safe care to all children with cancer,” explain Malkin and Whitlock.
For Co-Dyre, whose cancer advocacy work began when her four-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, this consortium is the next step in creating equitable access to innovative treatments for paediatric oncology patients across the country.
“This Canadian Pediatric Cancer Consortium sends the message that our call for more supports during and after treatment have been heard, and that our children deserve more – more access to the highest quality care, novel treatments and opportunities to live longer and healthier lives,” says Co-Dyre.
The CPCC is part of a larger $30-million investment in paediatric cancer research from the Government of Canada. Read the CIHR release.