2021 Research Investments

As the world continued to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic, research slowly started to ramp up again in 2021. The support of our community and sound financial planning enabled us to resume making major investments in promising research. Our multi-year clinical trial investments continued and we were able to launch and start patient recruitment for a cross-border collaborative trial called PASS-01. 


Dr. Jennifer Knox, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (ON)

NeoPancONE aims to usher in a new standard of care for resectable pancreatic cancer in Canada, while measuring an important potential biomarker (GATA6) to understand which patients will respond best to this treatment in the future. Patients receive six courses of chemotherapy (modified FOLFIRINOX) before and after surgery, first to shrink the pancreatic cancer tumour and then after to eliminate any remaining cancer cells, with the goal of giving patients a greater chance at disease-free survival. NeoPancONE is a multi-year research investment.

In addition to funding for the primary functions of this trial, we also supported the following affiliated trial centres across Canada:


  •  BC Cancer (BC)
  • Jewish General Hospital (QC)
  • Kingston Health Sciences Centre (ON)
  • London Health Sciences (ON)
  • Unity Health (ON)
  • Sunnybrook Hospital (ON)
  • Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (ON)


Dr. Jennifer Knox, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (ON)

Using cutting edge organoid models created with a patients own tumour cells, PASS-01 researchers are able to test multiple therapies on a patient’s tumour avatars to discern which treatment would be most effective. A collaboration between the foremost cancer centres in North America, PASS-01 brings together some of the brightest minds in pancreatic cancer research to learn more about this disease, advance our understanding of GATA6 expression, and help patients with advanced disease in real time, giving them a greater chance at longer life. PASS-01 is a multi-year research investment.

PASS-01 is a Stand Up To Cancer Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Dream Team, which is funded by the Pancreatic Cancer Collective, an initiative of the Lustgarten Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer® (SU2C), SU2C Canada and Pancreatic Cancer Canada.



Dr. Steven Gallinger, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (ON)

HERO-Pancreas is a feasibility study that involves modern, easy-to-use wearable technology which aims to help us detect cancer growth earlier and catch the side effects of treatment. HERO-Pancreas gathers real-time data from wearable technologies and a specialized app, testing their reliability and value to further our understanding of the warning signs of pancreatic cancer progression. The data generated from this project will also help on an international scale: findings will be used to design a large international study that will develop real-time warning systems to use in clinical practice, increasing the tangible impact of this project one hundred-fold.