A spark to ignite new ideas to disrupt cancer care


Photo © Courtesy of the Canadian Cancer Society

A single idea can change cancer forever. Progress is born out of thinking boldly, doing differently, taking chances. This is how we give Canadians hope for a life that is bigger than cancer.

Each year, the Canadian Cancer Society’s (CCS) Daffodil Campaign raises funds to improve the quality of life of people affected by all cancers and bring them hope. A key part of this is supporting the groundbreaking work of cancer researchers across the country—the dreamers and the innovators, the knowledge-seekers and the risk-takers whose bold ideas could transform cancer care and help save lives through new prevention and early detection strategies.

Imagine if a temperature check on your skin could tell you if that new spot is skin cancer. Right now, researchers are developing a highly sensitive, nano-sized thermometer to detect small, e melanoma skin cancers based on slight differences in skin temperature. This tool would allow doctors to diagnose the cancer much earlier, improving the odds of treatment success.

Or what about a breath or sweat test that could detect lung cancer? It might sound far-fetched but that’s exactly what researchers are doing by looking for cancer-specific chemicals present in the breath and sweat. The end result could be a fast and easy test performed in your doctor’s office to screen for lung cancer, giving people earlier access to treatment and boosting their chances of survival.

These projects are just 2 of 27 innovative ideas funded by Spark Grants, a joint $4 million research initiative from CCS and its partners, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Brain Canada. The goal is to apply cutting-edge technologies to address key challenges in cancer prevention and early detection.

“By disrupting the status quo, these projects have the potential to revolutionize cancer care and save lives,” says Dr. Stuart Edmonds, Executive Vice President, Mission, Research and Advocacy at CCS. “With nearly 1 in 2 Canadians expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, we urgently need new approaches so that more cancers can be prevented or detected earlier, when treatments are most likely to work.”

For more information or to show your support for transformational research, visit cancer.ca today.

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