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New approach to support national breast cancer research collaboration; CBCRA in its current form to conclude

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Joint message from the Avon Foundation for Women, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Canadian Breast Cancer Network, Canadian Cancer Society, Institute of Cancer Research at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Public Health Agency of Canada

As Partners in the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance (CBCRA), we are writing to tell you about exciting work that we have undertaken to develop an effective new model of collaboration to advance breast cancer research and bring together breast cancer research funders in Canada. It is an important opportunity and we are committed to making it happen.

Going forward, we will focus our collective efforts on supporting, promoting and updating the National Breast Cancer Research Framework (Framework) which was launched by CBCRA in December 2009. About $50 million is spent each year on peer-reviewed breast cancer research in Canada and the Framework provides a roadmap to facilitate better coordination and focus breast cancer research funding in Canada on key research priorities. It was developed after extensive consultation with breast cancer survivors, researchers and funders across the country. More information about the Framework is available at

We also want to inform you that we will be concluding CBCRA in its present form at the end of Phase III. As of April 1, 2010, no new CBCRA research programs will be launched and the secretariat will be closed.

This decision does not affect any of CBCRA's existing research commitments. All research grants already awarded, and all other competitions (including the Predictive Oncology RFA) that are already in progress will be fulfilled. The Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute will administer these programs on behalf of all of the Partners, except for those already administered by CIHR. Current grant holders and applicants will be informed in writing.

We fully recognize that many may feel a sense of loss at this announcement. Indeed, we see this as a bittersweet decision. We realize that the needs of the research community and our ability to further impact breast cancer through research have changed since CBCRA's inception in 1993. We believe that we can do more for breast cancer through flexible and inclusive partnerships and collaborations under this new model.

At the same time, we are intensely proud of CBCRA's profound impact on breast cancer research in Canada and we are committed to ensuring that this leadership lives on in the Framework. Each Partner remains steadfastly committed to continuing to fund breast cancer research through our own organizations and through new partnership opportunities.

We are truly grateful to everyone who has supported CBCRA over the years, including our dedicated secretariat. All of you have ensured that CBCRA was always in the lead ñ whether it was launching the first breast cancer research alliance in 1993, bringing breast cancer survivors and researchers together on our panels and committees, or holding the first scientific breast cancer research conference for researchers and survivors in Canada. Over the past 17 years, CBCRA has provided more than $197 million for 583 research grants.

We look forward to announcing details about how the Framework will roll out over the coming months.

For more information, please contact

CBCRA Partners Contacts:

Avon Foundation for Women
Roberta Lacey

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
Savitri Ponnambalam
Phone: (416) 263-7940

Canadian Breast Cancer Network
Diana Ermel
Phone: (306) 352-1366

Canadian Cancer Society
Mavis Jones
E-mail: mavis
Phone: (416) 934-5667

Institute of Cancer Research at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Christian Brochu
Phone: (613) 941-4329

Public Health Agency of Canada
Lianne Vardy
Phone: (613) 946-6965