Atlantic researchers join forces, receive $3.6 million in new provincial and national funding to accelerate precision medicine for cancer patients

(MONCTON) – With a commitment to work together and $3.6 million in new funding from provincial and national partners, doctors and scientists at leading cancer centres, hospitals and research centres in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador have formed an alliance focused on providing improved cancer outcomes.

The group – which includes Horizon Health Network – will work together under a joint pilot project over two years with the goal of becoming a member in the Terry Fox Research Institute’s (TFRI) new Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network (MOHCCN), a novel and federally funded pan-Canadian network to accelerate precision medicine for cancer patients.

TFRI is providing Atlantic Cancer Consortium (ACC) $1.5 million over two years, with other national and provincial partners providing matching funds in-kind and in cash.

“This is a remarkable achievement for cancer research and care in Atlantic Canada as well as across the country. We are extremely grateful to our national and regional partners for their financial contributions, and for their trust in this novel approach, a new roadmap for accelerating precision medicine for patients,” said Dr. Tony Reiman, TFRI’s Atlantic Node Leader, ACC co-investigator, and medical oncologist at Horizon’s Saint John Regional Hospital.

Consortium members will be involved in five mini projects that will: create a regional tumour biobank, develop a bioinformatics core for data sharing between centres, enrich and expand the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research trainee program for young investigators and launch two scientific research projects focusing on lung cancer and colorectal cancer.

“This collaboration in our Atlantic region is a key milestone in our quest to create a pan-Canadian network of cancer research centres that is not only transformational but is also inclusive and truly representative of our diverse Canadian reality,” said Dr. Jim Woodgett, TFRI president and scientific director. “Our hope is that members of this consortium will join the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network as designated members in the next year.”

When designated, the ACC will join the Quebec Cancer Consortium, the BC Cancer Consortium and the Ontario-based Princess Margaret Cancer Consortium as full members of the MOHCCN, as well as the Prairies Cancer Research Consortium,  expected to join later this year.

The MOHCCN is funded with a $150-million contribution from the Government of Canada, to be matched by research partners. The MOHCCN is creating linkages between researchers and institutions across Canada, enabling cancer researchers to share data, knowledge and resources like never before. This is helping create the Team Canada of Cancer Research, which will work together to advance precision medicine for all Canadians.



  • New Brunswick:
  • Horizon Health Network
  • Atlantic Cancer Research Institute
  • Vitalité Health Network
  • Nova Scotia:
  • Dalhousie University
  • Nova Scotia Health- QEII Health Sciences Centre
  • Newfoundland & Labrador:
    Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Eastern Health
  • Health Sciences Centre
  • St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital


  • National
  • MITACS Canada
  • AstraZeneca Canada
  • Pfizer Canada
  • Hoffmann-La Roche Limited
  • Nova Scotia:
  • Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute (BHCRI)
  • Nova Scotia Health –QEII Health Sciences Centre
  • Research Nova Scotia
  • New Brunswick
  • New Brunswick Health Research Foundation
  • New Brunswick Innovation Foundation
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN)
  • Department of Industry, Energy and Technology, Govt. of Newfoundland & Labrador


Horizon Health Network is the largest regional health authority in New Brunswick and the second-largest health authority in Atlantic Canada with expertise in diverse areas of health and community services. Focused on delivering quality and safe care to our patients, clients and their families, Horizon operates 12 hospitals and more than 100 medical facilities, clinics and offices throughout New Brunswick. Horizon provides services ranging from acute and specialized care to community-based health services. In 2020, Horizon Health Network was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals.


The Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network is the realization of a long-standing vision of the Terry Fox Research Institute. Inspired by Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope, the network represents a powerful collaborative platform that will close the gap between research in the lab and patient care in the clinic. Just as Terry Fox united Canadians with his run and dream to end cancer, the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network will unite cancer researchers to pursue that same goal with precision medicine.


Established in 2007, TFRI invests in world-class, collaborative cancer research teams and partnerships. Together with its research and funding partners, TFRI is working to inspire the transformation of cancer research in this country by bringing together leading cancer research and treatment organizations in Canada and empowering them under the framework of the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network and the Digital Health and Discovery Platform.

 –  30 –

For more information contact:

Kris McDavid

Media Relations


Peter Mothe

Communications Specialist

Terry Fox Research Institute (Moncton based)


Kelly Curwin

Chief Communications Officer

Terry Fox Research Institute