Annual Report 2016/17


The future of cancer research is here

We are living in an era of unprecedented innovation in cancer research. Recent advances have helped us to better understand cancer and allowed for collaboration on a scale that was previously not possible.

Yet with one in four Ontarians still expected to die from the disease, there is clearly much work to be done.

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research is working hard to ensure patients will benefit from the latest research advances. With a translational focus, we’re enabling and performing world class research, collaborating with partners and, with our commercialization partner, the Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust (FACIT), commercializing promising Ontario assets, all for the benefit of the Ontario economy and to help people around the globe live longer, healthier lives.

Scroll to see more
Reza Moridi

Letter from the Minister of Research, Innovation and Science

Read the letter →
President and the Chair of the Board of Directors

Letter from the Chair of the Board of Directors and the President

Read the letter →

We are making cancer research better

From local initiatives like the Ontario Tumour Bank and the Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board to international coalitions like the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health and the International Cancer Genome Consortium, OICR has for many years been leading and supporting programs that are improving the research environment and making it more efficient. This year, we’ve done even more. As part of our new Strategic Plan, we’ve launched several new initiatives that will continue to build Ontario’s research capacity and keep the province at the forefront of global cancer research advances.

Read about how OICR’s exciting new initiatives are enabling more research →

Scroll to see more

Enabling research

29 Investigators supported by OICR
OICR projects support  1,858 HQP
4,067 people attended 78 OICR educational events

We are making world-class discoveries

In just over a decade, OICR has established itself as a globally recognized institute and a formidable contributor to international cancer research. We’ve contributed important discoveries in immunotherapies, cancer stem cells, informatics, drug development, genomics and more. This year was no different. Just one example is OICR’s PanCuRx Translational Research Initiative, which made major new discoveries about the biology of pancreatic cancer and has launched a clinical trial called COMPASS that is helping better target therapies for patients in the clinic. These efforts are already making major advances against one of the deadliest types of cancer.

Read about how the PanCuRx team is tackling pancreatic cancer →

Scroll to see more

Performing research

517 Publications this year
17 recruiting clinical trials
2000 Patients recruited to clinical trials

We are collaborating to fight cancer

Researchers today are facing problems that are impossible to solve alone. These problems require bringing people together to work collaboratively across different disciplines, institutes and parts of the world. OICR is a leader in collaborative research, with more than half of OICR’s publications involving international partners. The CPC-GENE project was one of our earliest major international collaborations. This year CPC-GENE came to an end with some incredible results, including the identification of two new signatures for detecting aggressive prostate cancer that outperform all the published and clinically approved tests currently available.

The CPC-GENE leaders tell the story of their success →

Scroll to see more

Collaborating on research

Collaboration Panel 1
Collaboration Panel 2
Collaboration Panel 3

We are bringing research to market

OICR works together with our commercialization partner, FACIT, to plan for commercialization in our research projects from day one. This is what happened in OICR’s ORBiT Program, where through careful planning and teamwork a technology that uses a virus to fight cancer was successfully spun out into a company called Turnstone Biologics. Last year, Turnstone was able to raise $54 million, the second largest round of venture capital funding for biotech in Canada in 2016.

Read about the unique journey from ORBiT to Turnstone and beyond →

Scroll to see more

Commercializing research with our partner FACIT

$30M in Total funding provided by FACIT
303 Jobs created
24 Companies formed

(Metrics are to date)

OICR's Next Generation of Researchers

The Next Generation

Read more about the Next Generation

Scroll to see more


OICR's 2016-17 unaudited financial statements are available Download the report [PDF].

OICR News logo

To see everything that happened at OICR over the past year, and to keep track of all our latest announcements as they happen, visit and follow us on Twitter @OICR_News.


There is more to come

This era of unprecedented innovation in cancer research is set to continue. But innovation alone is not enough. We must ensure that this research benefits the millions of people around the globe who are diagnosed with cancer each year. By building capacity and working together with our partners in Ontario, Canada and around the world, OICR will continue to produce world-class research. And working together with FACIT and our partners, we will continue to ensure that the best discoveries made from this research have a clear path to the clinic, benefitting the Ontario economy and patients globally.