Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR): Finding New and Better Ways to Fight Cancer

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Premier McGuinty Launches Innovative Institute For Cancer Research

TORONTO – December 2, 2005 — Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today celebrated the official launch of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), the first collaborative research institute in Canada to focus efforts on the entire spectrum of cancer issues — from prevention right through to treatments.

“Cancer is a disease that affects one in three Ontarians,” said Premier McGuinty, who is also the Minister of Research and Innovation. “We owe it to families to do everything we can to fight cancer by supporting research that will help Ontarians lead fuller, healthier lives.”

The Premier made today’s announcement at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. The government is investing $142 million over four years to create the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. Working with public and private sector partners, researchers from across the province will work together on a coordinated strategy to fight cancer — from the need for better prevention and early detection to more targeted diagnosis and more effective treatments. As a major hub for cancer research, the OICR will also partner with other leading provincial, national and international cancer research institutions to advance research opportunities.

In the past, the government’s cancer research funds were distributed piecemeal to different researchers and research teams. This meant that “big picture” ideas with great promise did not receive funding because the research required many teams working together toward a common goal. With the creation of the OICR, researchers and caregivers can now pursue bigger ideas by working together and sharing information and resources.

“Investment in cancer research holds the key to our ability to prevent, and continually improve cancer detection and treatment,” said Dr. Terry Sullivan, President and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario. “The research generated through the OICR will enable us to reduce the risk of cancer and lead to better care for Ontario patients in the future.”

Part of the government’s investment announced today includes $65.2 million to support ongoing research programs under the Ontario Cancer Research Network — a provincially funded not-for-profit organization that transforms promising laboratory research into new treatments. Of that $65.2 million, the government today announced that $21.3 million has been awarded to nine academic and research institutions, and two research consortia across Ontario as part of the network’s next funding phase.

These investments are part of the government’s plan to improve the health of Ontarians by creating a place where ideas are shared and research and innovation thrive. Developing the next generation of cancer researchers will lead to better health for Ontarians, and make Ontario an internationally recognized centre for cancer research.

“Today’s investments will help create a critical mass of researchers in Ontario and a more coordinated, collaborative approach to fighting cancer,” said Premier McGuinty. “This will help us attract and retain the best talent, create more investment in the province and strengthen our reputation for innovation in the field of cancer research.”