Canada’s research community working together to answer questions about the development of cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases

Posted March 22, 2012

Canadian Partnership Against Cancer partners with Genome Canada and Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Canada’s research community will have the opportunity to draw upon and contribute to the country’s largest database of population health research as part of a new collaboration between the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (the Partnership), Genome Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The collaboration is specific to Genome Canada and CIHR’s Genomics and Personalized Health competition. Research teams that are successful in this competition may have the option to access and use data from across Canada through the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP), which is funded by the Partnership. In addition, cardiovascular-oriented research projects applying through the competition may qualify for shared funding from the Partnership.

Results of such research will enrich the breadth of scientific studies that CPTP can support in the future and will also deepen the information available through CPTP as it progressively grows its warehouse of data. Over time, this powerful, publicly funded resource will enable the research community to answer critical questions about the development of heart disease, cancer and other chronic conditions.

The Genomics and Personalized Health competition targets projects that will demonstrate how genomics-based research can contribute to a more evidence-based approach to health and improving the cost-effectiveness of the healthcare system. In addition to the Partnership, the Cancer Stem Sell Consortium is also a funding partner.

“Our collaboration with Genome Canada and CIHR means that the broader research community can benefit sooner from data collected through the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project by putting it to use within the next several years,” said Dr. Heather Bryant, Vice-President of Cancer Control at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. “We are grateful to the growing number of Canadians who are voluntarily contributing information about their health and habits to CPTP to help researchers better understand why some people develop heart disease, cancer and other chronic conditions – while others do not.”

The largest study of its kind to date in Canada, the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project is a prospective cohort study, meaning researchers follow a large group of people from a variety of backgrounds and regions over the long term. Researchers regularly collect and analyze health and other information, along with samples such as blood and urine. This method will help to secure a more complete picture of study participants’ health and habits, including what they eat, how much they exercise and how these factors may change with time. The study also records environmental variables such as where people work and live. The collection of health data from Canadians aged 35 to 69 from many parts of the country will support leading-edge Canadian and international research for decades to come.