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Healthcare leaders on unlocking the key to cancer with the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project

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Healthcare leaders lend their thoughts at the launch of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP) data portal, and the potential to unlock the key to cancer.

Follow CPAC:
Twitter: @cancer_strategy
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CanadianPartnershipAgainstCancer

TRANSCRIPT:

Dr. Heather Bryant, Vice President Cancer Control, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC):
“Cancer is the number one killer in Canada. In every single province and territory, it’s the number one killer – and we know also, that because the population is getting older and entering high-risk age groups for cancer, that we’re going to see a 40% increase in the number of cancer cases over the next decade or two.”

What is CPTP?

Chris Power, Chair, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC):
“This project was designed to meet the need of creating a database to help us understand what causes cancer and how we can prevent it.”

Shelly Jamieson, Chief Executive Officer, CPAC:
“300,000 Canadians have signed up to be followed through their adult lives to track their lifestyles, their behaviours, there are some genetic bio-samples material and they’re going to be available for researchers to actually figure out what causes cancer. Why do some people get cancer, and other people don’t?”

What makes the CPTP dataset so unique?

Dr. Heather Bryant:
“We have done studies before where you collect information from people who’ve developed a particular type of cancer, and then you ask them questions and you ask people who didn’t develop the cancer about what was going on in their lives ten and twenty years ago – and that, while you can do it with fewer people, we know that people can’t remember well what their lifestyles were like 10 or 20 years ago.”

Dr. William Ghali, Scientific Director, O’Brien Institute for Public Health:
“I think the combination of clinical information about people – the health behaviours, but then also a lot of biological specimens that allow for the study of environmental exposures, genetic factors that cause disease – is really quite a powerful combination of information that you don’t usually have in one place.”

How will using this research portal help researchers?

“Dr. Jacques Magnan, Senior Scientific Leader, CPAC:
It’s not a single question project; it’s a platform and like most platforms it helps take you off the ground. So at the end of the day, what we have done is created an open access platform all researchers, all qualified researchers, will be able to have access to the data.”

Shelly Jamieson:
“When a research project begins, the first thing people have to do is recruit people to be part of their study. What we’re doing, is we are saying we have already recruited the people. So we’re accelerating the number of questions, the turn around on research questions.
It’s very difficult, if I was interested in studying the factors that cause cancer on my own, to pull together the resources that are needed to create a big data set that we can follow patients with over time.”

Dr. Jacques Magnan:
“What we know already is that researchers collaborate on a global basis. If you have a rare cancer, they’ll go wherever they can get the information from, they’ll go wherever they can get the collaborations from. So from that perspective, it puts us in a good position to be able to collaborate internationally in the fight against cancer.”

Dr. Wiliam Ghali:
“The key now is to get the word out about this portal now that’s been created for researchers to access data.”

Why do you think Canadians have been inspired to participate in CPTP?

Mary O’Neill, CPTP Participant, Board Member, CPAC :
“The experience that I’ve had with family and friends who have had cancer, and always as many others do, ask the question, why? But for me, the questions was always why them and not me? I have encouraged as best I can everybody I know, and don’t know, to join because I think participating is the answer.”

Chris Power:
“I think this is so impressive that people have come together because they want to make a difference for cancer and for hundreds of thousands of Canadians – to say it’s not okay that so many people are suffering from cancer or haven’t even been diagnosed yet, but we know will be diagnosed, to say we want to make a difference, we want to step-up, we’re in this together.”

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