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Cancer care

BC funds Terry Fox R&D centre with $30 million

VANCOUVER – The province of British Columbia is providing $30 million to the Terry Fox Foundation. The cash infusion will be used to fund a new Terry Fox Research Institute that will have sites across the country, with its headquarters located in Vancouver.

“The new Terry Fox Research Institute will bring together researchers, scientists and institutions across Canada to work to assure that their discoveries are brought to the bedside and into patients’ lives as soon as possible and that we all share in discoveries of new techniques and practices that will make people’s lives even better,” said Premier Gordon Campbell.

The Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) will be a national organization for cancer research with a focus on translational research that will enable discoveries to translate quickly into practical solutions to benefit cancer patients within three to five years.

The Terry Fox Foundation (TFF) will invest a minimum of $50 million over the next five years in this initiative and will partner with major cancer centres across Canada to maximize the effectiveness of this investment. Initially, there will be centres in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, and Calgary, and headquarters in Vancouver.

The $30 million from the Province of B.C. will support the institute’s headquarters in the BC Cancer Agency building, as well as research staff.

“We are delighted that the Foundation selected British Columbia as the location for the Research Institute headquarters,” said Health Minister George Abbott. “The Terry Fox Foundation and the BC Cancer Agency are recognized internationally for excellence and we are pleased to help to carry on Terry Fox’s legacy.”

TFRI’s projects will be team-based, milestone-driven and with potential to impact the health outcomes of cancer patients within three to five years. The Institute will bring scientists and clinicians together across the country into an integrated, geographically dispersed Institute with nodes in several provinces.

“Terry had a way of bringing Canadians together,” said Darrell Fox, Terry’s brother and national director of the Terry Fox Foundation. “His dream of eradicating cancer lives on in every community across this great nation, though in 1980 with every step and mile Terry was running home. He would be immensely proud and thankful that the Terry Fox Research Institute headquarters will be here in British Columbia.”

“Today’s announcement is another advance in our efforts to beat cancer,” said Simon Sutcliffe, president of the BC Cancer Agency. “Unfortunately, statistics show that one in three British Columbians will be affected by cancer sometime in their life, but progress in translational research will help us not only increase survival rates, it may give us the tools to prevent this disease.”

“B.C.’s cancer-care system is considered a model for other jurisdictions, particularly for its excellence in research which focuses on bringing new therapies from the lab to clinical application as quickly as possible,” said Wynne Powell, PHSA board chair. “That the Terry Fox Foundation noted this is a credit to the investments made in cancer care and research by the agency, government and the individuals and organizations who support this through donations to the BC Cancer Foundation.”

The Province has invested more than $1 billion in research and innovation since 2001, including significant investments in research to improve treatments and seek cures for major healthcare challenges.