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.

16. Link with Clinical Data – Developing mechanisms to link clinical trial data with administrative health databases for studies on long-term outcomes and late effects (linked to CSO Code 6.9)

Linking data collected during clinical trials with administrative health databases enables long-term studies on survivorship and quality of life issues related to breast cancer treatment. This form of linkage is potentially powerful because data from clinical trials (where patients have been randomly assigned to treatments and where the precise treatment regimens are known) may be linked with administrative health databases providing information about long-term outcomes. For example, a clinical trial conducted in 1990, if linked with administrative health databases running to 2005, could provide 15-year, patient-specific information on outcomes compared to population controls. Research in this area will provide critical information for the development of future therapeutic strategies and better understanding of late effects of treatments.