The Government of Canada Invests More Than $5.7M in Research to Improve Health Services for Cancer Patients

Minister Petitpas Taylor visits the University of Calgary to announce innovative cancer research projects

Calgary, AB – Cancer remains the leading cause of death in Canada. Recent data indicate that nearly 1 in 2 Canadians is expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. The Government recognizes the urgent need to combat this disease and strengthen our health systems and services for cancer patients through collaborative research between health service policy makers and practitioners, researchers, and patients and caregivers.

This week, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, was at the University of Calgary to announce an investment of more than $5.7M from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to support six teams of researchers and decision-makers whose work will improve health services for cancer patients and their families.The teams will develop and test models for better cancer care at the population level from prevention, to survivorship, to end-of-life care.

Dr. Jessica E. Simon, from the University of Calgary, and her team will partner with senior health services leaders to demonstrate the effectiveness of routinely offering early, community-based palliative care to support people with non-curable colorectal cancer. They will start in one city, measure the impact on patients, their families and health care system costs, and adapt the research to help people living in other areas across the country.

The other funded research teams announced today will be located at Sunnybrook Research Institute, Princess Margaret Hospital, Simon Fraser University and the University of Montreal.



“Strong collaboration between researchers and decision-makers is necessary to bring positive  changes to a complex health care system. I commend the teams for strengthening health services offered to the many Canadians and their families who have been touched by cancer.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

“I wish to congratulate the research teams for evaluating the efficiency and sustainability of our health care system, and finding solutions for better health outcomes in cancer patients. Thank you for your contributions to health research and to building a healthier Canada.”

Dr. Rachel Syme
Assistant Director
CIHR Institute of Cancer Research

“We are extremely pleased and thank the federal government for this significant investment. Dr. Simon and her team are making great strides in palliative care research, including early integration of palliative interventions into cancer care. This investment will undoubtedly have a long-range impact and it further reinforces the work taking place at the Cumming School of Medicine.”

Elizabeth Cannon
University of Calgary

A palliative care approach helps people hope for the best and prepare for the worst.  Each person has unique priorities when faced with a devastating diagnosis like advanced cancer. What’s so important about this federal investment in CIHR cancer control research is that it brings hope and it recognizes that we matter in our search for a cure and we matter in our search for quality of life and comfort in living with cancer, right to the end of life.”

Dr. Jessica E. Simon
Cancer researcher
University of Calgary

Quick Facts

  • The six teams are funded through the CIHR Partnerships for Health System Improvement (PHSI) for Cancer Control program, which aims to strengthen Canada’s health care system through collaborative, applied, and policy-relevant research. The PHSI program has a strong emphasis on partnerships and knowledge translation, and will be a major resource for policy makers who want relevant research to inform their decision-making.
  • Cancer costs the Canadian system an estimated $4.4 billion every year in direct and indirect costs, making it the 7th most costly illness or injury in Canada. 2016 Canadian Cancer Statistics [ PDF (3.3 MB) – external link ]

Related Products

Source: Canadian Institutes of Health Research