Category Archives: General

2015 Canadian Cancer Statistics released by the Canadian Cancer Society highlights importance of cancer research

Cancer remains the leading cause of death among Canadians. The Canadian Cancer Society, in partnership with Statistics Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, released the annual 2015 Canadian Cancer Statistics report in May. This report provides comprehensive statistical information on cancer in Canada, including incidence, mortality and relative survival rates. These statistics are vital to the progress and promise of cancer research, by informing health professionals, policy leaders, and researchers to help improve the quality of life for cancer patients and survivors and reduce cancer incidence and mortality rates.

CCS 2015 ReportWhile the number of cancer cases is on the rise, the survival rates continue to improve compared to what was observed over 10 years ago. Unique to this year’s report is an inclusion of a section on the future burden of cancer in Canada – in fact, it is expected that the Canadian cancer incidence rate, or the annual number of new cancer cases, will rise 79% by 2028-2032 in comparison to the rates from 2003-2007! While our aging population is the main factor for this dramatic anticipated increase in cancer rates, this report highlights the importance of expanding our cancer research efforts in order to further understand the complexities of the different diseases that make up cancer, which will ultimately lead to earlier diagnosis and new treatment advances for the growing number of people diagnosed with cancer.

Researchers at the Queen’s Cancer Research Institute (QCRI) in Kingston, Ontario are actively exploring various aspects of cancer research, including understanding basic cancer biology, performing relevant cancer clinical trials, and conducting cancer etiology (causes) studies at the population level. QCRI researchers share hopes of developing novel prevention, detection and treatment options for cancer.

One such researcher is Dr. Christopher Mueller, who is currently working on developing a blood-based cancer detection test that will allow for earlier and more accurate diagnosis of cancer in the near future. The Queen’s campus is also home to the NCIC Clinical Trials Group, consisting of researchers, clinicians, and biostatisticians, among others, that develops and conducts cancer clinical trials across Canada, and internationally.

Ongoing cancer research efforts at Queen’s University, across Canada, and globally, will hopefully allow us to effectively combat the anticipated future burden of cancer in Canada.

For full access to the Canadian Cancer Statistics publication, please check out the Canadian Cancer Society’s website:

This article is written by Piriya Yoganathan, a PhD candidate in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, and part of the Collaborative Graduate Program in Cancer Research at Queen’s University.

Kingston’s RIOT brings positive cancer research news to the community

When the Kingston RIOT team formed in October 2014, we had a vision to share our passion for cancer research with the public and to add a voice to the research that is happening in our own backyard – at the Queen’s Cancer Research Institute (QCRI). After only a few brainstorming sessions, events started taking shape.

To date, we have participated in outreach events that have introduced the research scientists, the types of research, and the progress we’re making in cancer research.

Community Presentations

Kelly B - Belleville TalkAs volunteers of the Canadian Cancer Society, we have been asked to speak at several local volunteer appreciation events. Kelly Brennan, a Master’s student in the department of Epidemiology, has given talks in Kingston and Belleville. She discussed the different types of research happening at the QCRI, which ranges from prevention research, basic science, and population studies, to clinical trials.

KTW_ArticlePicNewspaper Articles

We recently published our first newspaper article in Kingston This Week. In this article, we introduced our RIOT members to the Kingston public, highlighting our goals and vision. Stay tuned for upcoming articles discussing different types of cancer research as well as articles delving into the complexity of cancer and research focused on the different cancer subtypes (lung, breast, etc).

Let’s Talk Cancer Event

A big initiative, co-sponsored by Let’s Talk Science, was our Let’s Talk Cancer event held in May 2015. Over 40 high school students attended to learn about cancer and the research that is happening at the QCRI. Speakers included members of RIOT, as well as Queen’s University faculty members Lois Mulligan and David Berman, the director of the NCIC Cancer Clinical Trials group Janet Dancey, and a cancer survivor Emma Maclean. Through this initiative, we hoped to inspire the younger generation and give them a glimpse into cancer research, highlighting both the complexity of the disease as well as the significant progress we are making in fighting this disease. Let’s Talk Cancer was a big success and we received media coverage of the event. Check out some of the local reports:

QCRI Open House & Lab Tours

Our most recent event, an open house held for volunteers, staff and donors of the Canadian Cancer Society, was another huge success! At this event, faculty recently funded by the Canadian Cancer Society shared the promise of their research in our fight against cancer. Other speakers included RIOT member Mathieu Crupi, and QCRI faculty members from both basic science and clinical trials. Those attending the open house were also offered a tour of the research facility where they could witness what happens in the day-to-day of cancer research. The media were also invited and some of their reports can be found here:

Summer/Fall 2015

Throughout the summer, we will have several more newspaper articles and blog articles published. And, in September, we will be making more presentations at local community events, including:

  • September 9th: opening night of the play Calendar Girls at the Grand Theatre in Kingston, Ontario.
  • September 19th: Mudmoiselle – a five kilometre muddy obstacle course for women and fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Stay tuned and visit our blog regularly to learn more about the exciting cancer research happening locally and abroad!