New research grants announced today by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) in partnership with Brain Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Cancer Research Society and the Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation are bringing together high-performance, interdisciplinary teams to accelerate progress against 6 low-survival cancers. The grants program – called the CCS Breakthrough Team Grants: Transforming Low-Survival Cancers – represents the largest ever collective effort in Canada focused on changing outcomes for pancreatic, esophageal, brain, lung, liver, and stomach cancers.
Over the last 30 years, tremendous progress has been made against many cancers, with the predicted 5-year survival for several of them now surpassing 80%. However, fewer than 30% of people diagnosed in Canada with one of these 6 low-survival cancers are expected to survive 5 years or more. In 2022 alone, an estimated 41% of all cancer deaths in Canada were due to one of these 6 cancers.
These low survival rates are due to many reasons, including a lack of identifiable risk factors, insufficient early detection technologies and fewer effective treatment options. To transform outcomes for people with pancreatic, esophageal, brain, lung, liver and stomach cancers, more action-oriented research is urgently needed.