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Current Initiatives


Although we’ve accomplished a great deal over the years, the fact remains that while colorectal cancer (CRC) is preventable, it continues to be a leading cause of cancer death in Canada. Moreover, we are faced with new challenges, such as rising rates of CRC in young adults and keeping up to date on advancements in research and development.

Our various initiatives allow CCC to continue to advocate for the well-being of CRC patients and those at risk.



Treating colorectal cancer (CRC) has evolved over the past few decades. In the past, all patients might have received the standard therapy used for all people with colorectal cancer. Today, people with colorectal cancer may have very different kinds of tumors at the cellular level. The use of biomarkers has helped to create a more personalized approach to cancer care that helps to guide healthcare providers to make more informed decisions on your treatment options.

There are many different types of treatments used to treat colorectal cancer: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation treatment and systemic treatment. One type of systemic treatment that has been noted to produce positive results in a select group of patients is immunotherapy, which essentially involves priming your natural immune defenses to recognize, target, and destroy cancer cells effectively.

The mission of Colorectal Cancer Canada’s Immunotherapy Program is to raise awareness and education on immunotherapy and advocate on behalf of colorectal cancer patients seeking access to it as a promising new cancer treatment. CCC is reaching out to the Canadian colorectal cancer patients to inform them of the benefits of immunotherapy as well as the side effects, clinical trials, and the need for funding to support immunotherapy research.

In order to ensure that the right patients receive the right treatment at the right time, CCC has a particular interest in ensuring that patients are able to receive timely biomarker testing so that appropriate treatment plans can be made in a timely manner.

To learn more about the Immunotherapy Program, read the brief here

Key Activities

  • Launch of our first survey of CRC cancer patients regarding their experiences with diagnosis and treatment choice, access to immunotherapy, side effects and impact on quality of life
  • Creation of educational materials on the comprehensive array of treatment options including immunotherapy
  • Dialogue with national and international partners regarding approved drugs and advise for health policy change and innovation in access
  • Profiling of patient life experiences while on immunotherapy to raise awareness and educate the public
  • Creation of patient guide for patients on immunotherapy including what to expect in terms of side effects, quality of life and prognosis
  • Social media campaign to inform the lay public of personalized medicine and immunotherapy in Canada
  • Advocacy efforts to improve access and delivery of immunotherapy in Canada


Program Brief
Immunotherapy Patient Guide: coming soon
Immuno-oncology: Redefining cancer treatment

The Patient Group Pathway Model to Accessing Cancer Clinical Trials is a Colorectal Cancer Canada (CCC) initiative which aims to increase recruitment, participation and retention rates of cancer clinical trials within Canada. A consensus meeting and a working group meeting were hosted by CCC in 2017 and recommendations on increasing uptake were published in Current Oncology in 2018. In 2018, a conference regarding The Patient Group Pathway Model and Real World Evidence Conference was hosted to draft a Patient Charter for clinical trial stakeholders. In 2019, a two-day conference was organized to foster patient group partnerships among stakeholders who advocate for cancer clinical trials in Canada and the development of Real World Evidence to help reduce uncertainty in clinical trial results.


A Canadian Framework for Integrating the Patient Voice into the Cancer Clinical Trials Continuum


Current Oncology publication: Patient and Patient Group Engagement in Cancer Clinical Trials: A Stakeholder Charter