Every spring for more than 65 years, hope blooms with the return of the Canadian Cancer Society’s (CCS) Daffodil Campaign. The annual fundraising initiative raises essential dollars to support the most promising research across all cancer types. This year’s funding of world-leading research includes the recently announced $55-million CCS Breakthrough Team Grants: Transforming Low-Survival Cancers, the biggest collective effort in Canada focused on these types of cancers.
Distributed over the next five years, the action-oriented CCS Breakthrough Team Grants, in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and with support from Brain Canada, the Cancer Research Society and the Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation, challenge Canada’s research community to develop the most innovative approaches to transforming outcomes for cancers with low-survival rates. Pancreatic, esophageal, brain, lung, liver, and stomach cancers all have five-year survival rates of less than 30% compared to the 64% survival rate for all cancers combined. In 2022 alone, an estimated 35,000 people in Canada lost their lives due to these six cancers.
Guided by patient partners living with low-survival cancers, 10 research teams have been awarded grants for the most groundbreaking projects, including developing a test to detect lung cancer using artificial intelligence, which could improve lung cancer outcomes; identifying new approaches to reducing treatment resistance in people with esophageal cancer, potentially saving lives; and a comprehensive pancreatic cancer research program focused on screening, earlier detection, better understanding of the disease biology, and facilitating the introduction of new therapies and personalized treatments to increase survival for one of the deadliest cancers.
“We believe that research is the key to accelerate change and unearth solutions that will save lives,” says Andrea Seale, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Cancer Society. “The Daffodil Campaign is proud to fund some of the brightest minds in cancer research with programs such as the CCS Breakthrough Team Grants,” adds Seale. “These low-survival rates are due to many factors, including a lack of identifiable risk factors and effective treatment options. This new investment has real potential to change the future of cancer forever.”
The Daffodil Campaign has long served as an opportunity to rally around a symbol of strength, resilience, and courage for those living with cancer. Two in five Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and donations made to the Daffodil Campaign help to fund research such as the CCS Breakthrough Team Grants, as well as provide a compassionate support system for people with cancer and their caregivers that includes a nationwide helpline and online community, and advocacy efforts to shape public policies for a healthier society.
“CCS relies on the generosity of donors to fund such cutting-edge research innovation to change lives faster. We call upon all people in Canada to support the annual Daffodil Campaign and its goal to Help Hope Bloom for those affected by cancer. In addition to one-time donations, those wanting to get involved can become monthly donors, join the CCS 80KM Facebook Challenge or organize their own fundraiser,” adds Seale.
For more information or to donate, visit cancer.ca/daffodil. All donations made between April 23 to April 30 will be matched.