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.

14. Health-Case Issues – Analysis of the financial and health-care delivery issues facing breast cancer patients (across the cancer continuum) (linked to CSO code 6.4)

This area of research examines quality of care, access to care (including timeliness and equity), and factors associated with variations in quality and access. Studies examine the health system requirements to provide optimum quality of care throughout the cancer continuum (from health system requirements to improved screening, reduced wait times for diagnosis, and improved end-of-life care). This research also studies patients’ preferences and needs through the cancer continuum.

In addition, individuals affected by breast cancer and their family/caregivers face economic challenges. Research in this area could focus on the financial implications of a breast cancer diagnosis; it could include an evaluation of the long-term economic and employment implications for breast cancer patients and their families. The results of this research could have an important impact on the development of new health services and care delivery policies.