The Division of Cancer Care and Epidemiology had its inception as the Radiation Oncology Research Unit (RORU), a health-services research unit that sought to enhance cancer outcomes by providing the information needed to improve decisions about the use of radiotherapy. Over time, the scope of research undertaken by the Division expanded into a comprehensive research group that now collaborates both internally and externally to investigate multiple aspects of cancer aetiology and cancer care.
In 2001, RORU joined forces with the National Cancer Institute of Canada-Clinical Trials Group (NCIC-CTG) and the Queen's Cancer Research Laboratories, to create the Queen's Cancer Research Institute (QCRI). Currently, CCE's research program is undertaken by eleven Principal Investigators (PIs), each with research staff and trainees associated with specific research projects. The academic program is aligned with two major Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) research themes: Health Services Research (HSR) and Population Studies.
The general objective of research undertaken by PIs involved with HSR is to evaluate elements of access to care, quality of care, system efficiencies and governance, and in so doing, improve cancer outcomes by increasing the attainment of what is already potentially achievable in cancer control. The general objective of the PIs involved in population studies is to quantify cancer risks associated with environmental exposures, and the interaction of these factors with genetic factors, with an ultimate goal of primary cancer prevention. These research goals are integral to the unit's five-year strategic plan, which anticipates enhanced research, knowledge translation and capacity building activities.
CCE has been very fortunate to have core financial support from Queen's University and Cancer Care Ontario since its inception, and is currently funded as an Applied Research Unit of Cancer Care Ontario. Dr. Brundage holds a CCO research chair funded by Cancer Care Ontario.