Each year, more than 14 million people worldwide are diagnosed with cancer and more than eight million people die from the disease. New tools are urgently needed to better prevent, detect, diagnose and treat cancer so that people can live longer and healthier lives.

Our Vision

Cancer Solved Together

Our Mission

Partner with the oncology community to translate cancer research discoveries, transforming cancer care to benefit patients, and strengthening the Ontario economy.

Our Values

Excellence | Innovation | Collaboration | Impact | Responsibility | Community

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is a collaborative research institute that conducts and enables high-impact translational cancer research. We help to accelerate the development of discoveries for patients around the world while maximizing the economic benefit of this research for the people of Ontario.

Ontario patients recruited to OICR-supported clinical trials
collaborations with institutes across 49 countries
tumours sequenced to inform personalized cancer care

OICR strives to turn insights in cancer research into precision medicine innovations that are implemented into Ontario’s health system to transform patient outcomes for the better.

In collaboration with our partners in healthcare, research, government and the private sector, we:

  • Conduct cross-disciplinary cancer research in fields such as genomics, immuno-oncology, informatics, drug discovery and molecular pathology
  • Enable research in Ontario and worldwide by building collaborative networks, securely sharing data, and making tools and resources available to the research community
  • Translate our research findings to the clinic by developing clinical guidelines, supporting clinical trials and working with our strategic partner FACIT to advance the commercialization of our innovations and IP.

All our funded research goes through independent peer review and is overseen by external scientific advisory committees.

What is translational research at OICR?

At OICR, translational research is about facilitating real-world impact. This means ensuring promising cancer research discoveries are developed into new diagnostics, treatments and practices that can help people in Ontario and beyond.

Why is cancer so difficult to diagnose and treat?

New solutions are urgently needed to help patients live longer and healthier lives

  • Cancer is not one disease
  • Every patient’s cancer is different at the molecular level
  • Tumours are heterogenous, so even parts of the same tumour can be different
  • Cancer evolves to be more complex over time and can become resistant to treatment
  • Rare cancer stem cells, present in the tumour from day one, can resist treatment and allow a seemingly eliminated tumour to regrow
  • Cancer can suppress the immune system, keeping the body from recognizing or destroying tumours
  • New approaches to treatment are complex because they are individualized to each patient, which is termed precision medicine
Did you know?
Contributed to discoveries reported in 2,100+ publications, cited on average more than 37 times, as compared to the world average of 7.3 (2016-2020)