Research Priorities

A considerable amount of background data supported the selection of each breast cancer research priority. This included stakeholder input obtained before and during the National Breast Cancer Research Summit held in May 2008 and the identification and collation of internationally determined priorities, as well as current and emerging funded research projects in Canada and internationally.

Research priorities were selected through a rigorous, consultative process to ensure agreement that each of these research advances would benefit Canadians and improve Canada’s global competitiveness in cancer research. Suggested areas for investment are presented in two linked ways: as broader overarching themes and as more focused individual research priorities.

The six overarching research themes are:
1. Mechanisms of Cancer Development 4. Cancer Progression and Dissemination
2. Molecular Detection and Prediction 5. Psychosocial, Survivorship and Health Services
3. Personalized Medicine 6. Transferring Knowledge into Practice

The 17 high-impact research priorities, listed here, are itemized by CSO category* and are described in terms of their CSO code.

NOTE: for complete details, refer to Chapter 6 of the National Framework document.

*The Common Scientific Outline is a system used by most research granting agencies to classify and categorize research.

10. Biomarkers II – Clinical setting/clinical trials to assess clinical sensitivity and specificity of new biomarkers (linked to CSO code 4.3)

  1. Subtypes of breast cancer
  2. Predictive markers of response to therapy

Following the discovery of new biomarkers, clinical trials will be required to assess their use in a clinical setting, particularly for some specific subtypes of breast cancer. The results of these trials will have an important impact on the development of new personalized therapeutic strategies by providing predictive information on response to therapy for specific groups of breast cancer patients.