The first-ever Canadian Cancer Research Conference was a huge success. Almost one thousand people attended the conference which was created to showcase cancer research efforts in Canada, to connect researchers with the public to report on the impact of Canada’s cancer research investment, and to connect funding agencies with their research communities.
The 31 member organizations of the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance (CCRA) collaborated on the event, which was held November 27-30, 2011, in Toronto. CCRA is an alliance of cancer research funding organizations and other affiliated partners, including the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.
Over 80% of attendees said they were satisfied with the opportunity to meet with colleagues and learn about leading-edge Canadian cancer research. Given that 77.76% of survey respondents attended the conference to hear about Canadian cancer research, it was encouraging to see positive responses to the achieving of this goal.
“Cancer is such a complex area of research. We’ve made tremendous advances but there is still much more to be learned,” said Dr. Stuart Edmonds, Director of the Partnership’s research portfolio and Executive Director of the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance. “The conference provided a great opportunity to hear about some of the leading-edge cancer research taking place across the country and also for us to connect this research to the pan-Canadian research strategy.”
CCRA works to identify, develop, and initiate large transformative cancer research initiatives; coordinate cancer research at a pan-Canadian level; document cancer research activity in Canada (i.e., the Canadian Cancer Research Survey); and act as the Partnership’s Research Advisory Group. The organization is currently overseeing the implementation of the pan-Canadian cancer research strategy, which was released in May 2010. The strategy provides a framework to guide cancer research investment in Canada and a vision for Canadian cancer research achievements over the next five years.
The scientific conference also featured a Community Forum, an opportunity for volunteers, donors, staff and the public to meet world-renowned cancer researchers and learn more about the accomplishments in Canadian cancer research. The Community Forum was open to the public and drew more than 135 participants. Four of out five attendees who responded to a survey distributed on-site, were very satisfied with the speaker presentations and almost all respondents (97%) said that they would attend another event like the Forum.