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.

13. Survivorship and Quality of Life Interventions – Psychosocial and survivorship interventions (linked to CSO code 6.1)

Research in cancer survivorship covers the range of research domains from basic biomedical (e.g., to understand the underlying mechanisms leading to late effects of treatment modalities); clinical (e.g., to test interventions to ameliorate late effects; health service interventions to improve the quality of survivorship care; randomized trial to improve the evidentiary basis for elements of follow-up care during survivorship); and population studies (e.g., to understand the impact of public health interventions to improve lifestyle factors on the outcomes for cancer survivors).

Research in quality of life could lead to the development of new interventions for improving the quality of life of breast cancer patients across the course of the disease, and promoting psychological adjustment to the diagnosis of breast cancer and to treatment effects.