Prostate Cancer remains the #1 priority issue with our community in Canada.Image by: Movember
21 September 2023

Movember to invest up to $5.8 million into prostate cancer research projects across Canada

5 minutes read time

Canadian researchers and organizations can apply for new grant initiatives aimed at tackling gaps in prostate cancer treatment and care. Movember will be investing a total of up to $5.8 million CAD in funding for researchers and/or organizations across Canada that qualify for one of four new global research grant programs, each aimed at reducing the numbers of men dying from prostate cancer and improve quality of life for those living with the disease.

20 years of global prostate cancer research

Globally, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men over 45. Every year, more than 1.4 million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer worldwide, with 375,000 lost to the disease. In Canada, one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, making it the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canadian men overall.

Over the last 20 years, Movember has led the way in prostate cancer research, bringing together the best minds from around the world and supporting the development of life-extending therapies and more accurate diagnostic tests. Through fundraising efforts, Movember has invested almost $314M CAD in over 600 biomedical research projects and close to $190M CAD in clinical quality and survivorship projects globally. This newest round of global grant initiatives aims to bring together teams of experts from around the world to tackle some of the biggest challenges in the treatment and care of men with prostate cancer.

Movember leading the way in Canada

In Canada, Movember is the largest funder of research focused on translating laboratory findings into new prostate cancer treatment options and the second largest funder of overall projects relating to prostate cancer research, having invested over $107 million since 2008.

But despite considerable advances in treatment and care, prostate cancer remains the second highest cause of cancer-related deaths in men worldwide[1]. Too many men with prostate cancer have poor physical and mental health – often because of their treatment or a healthcare system that fails to support their needs.

At Movember, we are driven by impact. Prostate Cancer remains the number one priority issue with our community in Canada,” says Todd Minerson, Movember Canada Country Director.“We spent a year listening to and consulting with our community of researchers, clinicians, healthcare professionals and those with lived experience of prostate cancer to identify the greatest priorities for research and gaps within treatment and care.These new grant opportunities were identified to provide significant impact in Canada and around the world.

New investment in Canadian prostate cancer projects

As a result of this process, we’re announcing four new prostate cancer research programs, with a Canadian funding investment of up to $5.8M CAD, aimed at reducing the number of men whose disease becomes incurable and delivering more consistent and improved personalized care to reduce variation in prostate cancer treatment and outcomes. The new investments include:

Preventing Disease Progression in Prostate Cancer Program – up to $1.5M CAD

  • Four Canadian research teams are participating in this ambitious global program, which aims to determine how to prevent the progression of high-risk prostate cancer to advanced, fatal disease. Involving 30 teams from eight countries around the world, the researchers will look to harness innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, to try to identify the best ways of using existing or emerging treatments to prevent aggressive prostate cancer from growing, coming back, or spreading quickly. The four research teams active in Canada include: Princess Margaret Cancer Center, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Quebec, Cross Cancer Institute, and the Odette Cancer Centre. Dr Hansen He from the Princess Margaret Cancer Center is the Canadian representative the Program Steering Committee.

Personalized Active Surveillance Program – up to $750K CAD

Many prostate cancers have a low risk of spreading and can be safely monitored using an approach called Active Surveillance (AS). However, about a quarter of AS patients opt for active treatments, which carry the risk of lifelong side effects, despite their cancer showing no signs that it is spreading. In this program, four Canadian research teams​ will join a global initiative, made up of 29 teams from around the world, with the aim of developing a personalized and ‘risk-adjusted’ approach to AS, that will reduce unnecessary tests and treatments for those living with lowest-risk prostate cancer. ​ The research team will also consider potential disparities in access to good quality active surveillance. The four Canadian teams active in Canada include: University Health Network (Toronto, Ontario), University of Alberta (Edmonton, Alberta), Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (Toronto, Ontario), and University of Montreal (Montreal, Quebec).

Health Equity Grants Initiative - $2.1M CAD

Men from groups marginalized by poverty, race, ethnicity, or class may not have access to healthcare they need and may face higher illness severity as a result. There are currently unacceptable differences in prostate cancer survival rates and quality of care for some groups of men, based on their race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and access to care. Movember is excited to be investing $2.1 million (CAD) in a number of projects that aim to contribute to health equity, promoting the inclusion and improved outcomes of marginalized and traditionally underrepresented populations of men at risk of or diagnosed and living with prostate cancer. The organization will invite Expressions of Interest (EOI) starting on September 21, 2023.

The Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS) Program - $1.5M CAD

Movember is pleased to announce a new program that will optimize the monitoring and management of prostate cancer patients during and after their treatment. Globally, the program will seek to improve prostate cancer care and patient outcomes through the use of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS) in routine clinical care. This program will look to address inequalities related to geography, race, or socio-economic status. The organization will invite Expressions of Interest (EOI) in October 2023.

Organizations and researchers interested in submitting for one of the grants can find more information on current funding opportunities at https://ca.movember.com/about/funding.

[1] Data Source: International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Date Accessed: 2022-08-03, Dataset Name: International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).