Research is the foundation of successful cancer treatments. Not long ago, cancer was a death sentence for most children. Today, because of advances in research, the survival rate for childhood cancer is just over 80 per cent in wealthy countries like Canada. Still about 90,000 of the 250,000 children diagnosed with cancer worldwide each year succumb to the disease. These children need us to keep working toward a cure.

By supporting our research program, you are creating an environment ripe for scientific discovery, attracting the best and brightest researchers to Calgary. Research in Calgary impacts the care of Alberta children and children worldwide. It offers hope to families everywhere.

Kids Cancer Care's $1 Million gift creates the Kids Cancer Care Foundation Chair in Child and Family Cancer Care

The first of its kind in Canada, the chair will focus on psychosocial oncology, a subspecialty that addresses the impact of cancer beyond the disease itself, such as strained marital and familial relationships, employment and financial difficulties, stress management and emotional exhaustion -- experiences that are typically overshadowed by the cancer, its treatment and prognosis.

Nancy Moules is the inaugural Kids Cancer Care Foundation Chair in Child and Family Cancer Care. A licensed Registered Nurse as well as an award-winning scholar, teacher and researcher, Moules is widely-recognized for leading innovative research in this field.

Moules acknowledges the significant impact natural science research has had on reducing mortality rates, decreasing side effects, developing new cures and saving lives. "Numbers are great, necessary and useful but there is a story they don't tell," says Moules. "The research we do speaks to experiences such as the worries and efforts of grandparents, the impact on the parental relationship, the experiences of boyfriends and girlfriends of adolescents with cancer, the impact of kids cancer camps, just to name a few."

This gift is the second major gift the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta has made to children's cancer research. In the last 15 years, the charitable organization has awarded more than $10 million in research funding to University of Calgary cancer researchers and students.

"I couldn't be happier than to see this research chair established and to see it go to Nancy Moules," says Christine McIver, founder and chief executive officer of Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta. "Nancy is a gifted and respected researcher and as with many nurses, she is filled with compassion for the children and families she serves. Her research and expertise will not only help nurses but will help all health care practitioners to better understand the needs of families."


Kids Cancer Care Chair in Pediatric Oncology

The Kids Cancer Care Chair in Pediatric Oncology is the largest funded oncology chair of its kind in Canada. Dr. Jennifer Chan was introduced as the new holder of the Kids Cancer Care Chair in Pediatric Oncology, September 1, 2015. This research chair was established 10 years ago by the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, Kids Cancer Care and other generous donors.

Dr. Chan is an Associate Professor, Departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Oncology and Clinical Neurosciences in the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine. She serves as Deputy Director for the Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute as well as program lead for the Childhood Cancer Research Program within the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Dr. Chan’s work is focused on brain tumour biology and molecular pathogenesis. She is leading a national bio-banking initiative that enables researchers to access tissue or fluid samples from children’s cancers.


Experimental & Applied Therapeutics (EXPAT)

Kids Cancer Care’s $3.75-million investment into the experimental and applied therapeutics program is supporting collaborative research between researchers at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and University of Calgary.

Paid over five years, Kids Cancer Care’s gift will help shed light onto some of the most perplexing and difficult pediatric cancers, which currently have poor outcomes. 

Collaborating with investigators across the hall and around the globe, the Calgary ExpAT group is working to discover, screen and bring to pre-clinical trial new therapies for children with high-risk cancers. The focus of the experimental and applied therapeutics program is threefold:

  1. To improve current understanding of childhood cancers;
  2. To innovate new therapies and test them in pre-clinical laboratory studies; and
  3. To lead and participate in cutting edge clinical studies with patients to test potential new therapies.

Discoveries made through this collaborative research will add to the growing body of knowledge in pediatric cancers and may one day lead to a cure for some of the toughest cancers.


Hughes Children’s Cancer Research Centre

The Hughes Children’s Cancer Research Centre (HCCRC), is a state-of-the-art research centre at the University of Calgary designed to advance interdisciplinary research into childhood cancers.

Named after the Hughes family, who made the lead donation of $750,000 in 2005, the centre is equipped with cutting-edge research equipment as well as both dry and wet labs. The HCCRC houses basic scientists, researchers and doctors, who work collaboratively to investigate the molecular makeup of cancer cells in cancers with low survival rates. By unlocking the secrets of these cells — how and why they behave as they do — researchers will be able to develop targeted treatments, which selectively kill cancer cells rather than all living cells and so reduce the long-term after effect on growing bodies.

Focusing on experimental therapeutics for cancers with low survival rates, HCCRC researchers are working to develop less invasive treatments that will help combat all cancers. The hope is that one day these treatments will save more lives and minimize the short and long-term side effects of cancer treatments.


Research Grant Program

Each year, we award thousands of dollars in research grants and undergraduate summer research awards to scientists and clinical researchers in Alberta.

Although our research granting program is temporarily suspended as the foundation fulfills its $3.75-million commitment to the Experimental and Applied Therapeutics Program, our summer student research program is thriving. Through this program, Kids Cancer Care awards undergraduate students with summer research grants to give them a chance to work in a laboratory, while also providing invaluable assistance to researchers. 

To find out more about our research granting program, contact Christine McIver.