Our Research

There are four broad types of research conducted at the Research Institute at CancerCare Manitoba: basic discovery, clinical, patient experience, and health services. Scientists from different research perspectives have formed several multi-disciplinary teams to address complex research questions. These include teams studying chronic lymphocytic leukemia, breast cancer, non-malignant blood disorders, and brain cancer.

Basic Discovery Research

About 20 of our scientists study how diseases change the ways cells function. Their research seeks to discover the causes of cancer and blood disorders like leukemias and lymphomas, as well as how these diseases develop, progress, and respond to treatments. These scientists come from many disciplines, including anatomy, biochemistry, cell biology, immunology, medical genetics, medical microbiology, molecular biology, neuroscience, physiology, and pharmacology. They conduct experiments in laboratories, both in vitro (in test tubes) and in vivo (in animals such as mice).

Our medical physics scientists conduct discovery research on imaging technologies (e.g., CT and MRI scanners) and radiation therapy equipment to develop more effective methods to detect, diagnose, and treat cancer and blood disorders.

Clinical Research

Our clinical scientists conduct clinical trials and other studies in patients with cancer or blood disorders. These studies evaluate the effectiveness of new drugs and other medical interventions that have the potential to reduce the odds of getting cancer or blood disorders, detect and diagnose these diseases sooner, provide more effective treatments, and help patients live longer, more productive lives. Our clinical scientists are primarily oncologists and hematologists.

Patient Experience Research

Our patient experience scientists study the psychological experiences of patients with cancer and blood disorders, and what patients think about the care they receive. Palliative and end-of-life care is a major theme of this group, but it also includes research on patient-physician communication, quality of life, cancer survivorship, and other things that matter to patients and their families. Psychiatry and nursing are these scientists’ primary disciplines.

Health Services Research

Our health services scientists conduct research on Manitobans’ use of health services across the cancer control continuum—from prevention and screening to treatment, survivorship, end-of-life care—to improve health outcomes for patients and optimize the performance and sustainability of the health care system. Our health services scientists include an epidemiologist, an oncologist, and a gastroenterologist.