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National Research Initiative - Young Women and Breast Cancer

On June 16, 2014, CBCF together with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research –Institute of Cancer Research (CIHR – ICR) announced a nearly $5.7 million investment to support a pan-Canadian research team investigating breast cancer in young women.

This was the culmination of work that began in recognition of the fact that while breast cancer in young women tends to be more aggressive, and have a poorer prognosis, there is very little breast cancer research on the disease in these women. The results of an expert workshop clarified the challenges related to research on this topic, and highlighted the need for strategic funding that would allow researchers from across the country and from across disciplines to come together to create a network capable of overcoming these challenges.

In response to the workshop, CBCF and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Cancer Research (CIHR-ICR) each committed up to $3 million to support the CBCF-CIHR Breast Cancer in Young Women (BCYW) funding opportunity addressing this strategic need. CBCF lead a competition that challenged the breast cancer community from across the country to collaborate in proposing a program of research with sufficient scale and talent that would enable progress in this area and deliver real impact for these women.

Dr. May Lynn Quan
and Dr. Steven Narod co-lead the funded program.In June 2014, a nearly $5.7 million investment was awarded to the program of research proposed under the leadership of Dr. Steven Narod of Women’s College Hospital in Toronto and co-lead by Dr. May Lynn Quan of the Alberta Health Services in Calgary. The program, entitled “Towards better outcomes for young women with breast cancer: A Pan-Canadian Collaborative,” have formed a synergistic, interdisciplinary, and dynamic network that will overcome the limitations of geography and low prevalence rates to tackle the challenges of breast cancer in young women. To our knowledge, this funding is one of the largest amounts ever granted in Canada to the study of breast cancer in young women and the program is the largest ever undertaken in this area in Canada.



As part of the planning process an invitational workshop was held in the fall of 2012 to seek input and advice from the research community and women previously diagnosed with breast cancer. 

Please click on the report to read more

Print version: click here

To learn more about this initiative or the National Grants Program, please contact us at NationalGrants@cbcf.org.​​​