The Canadian Partnership For Tomorrow Project: A Population Cohort For Health Research

Ma'n ZAWATI, McGill University, Canada
KLEIDERMAN E. 1 , AWADALLA P. 2 , BOILEAU C. 3 , CRAIG C. 4 , DUMMER T. 5 , FORTIER I. 4 , JACQUEMONT S. 6 , KNOPPERS B. 1 , MES-MASSON A. 7 , MOORE C. 8 , NUYT A. 6 , PARKER L. 9 , ROBSON P. 10 , SPINELLI J. 5

1 Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University, Montréal, Canada
2 Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
3 School of public Health, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
4 The Research Institute of McGill University, Montréal, Canada
5 School of Population and Public Health, University of British Colombia, Vancouver, Canada
6 Department of Pediatrics, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
7 Department of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
8 National Coordinating Centre, Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project, Toronto, Canada
9 Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
10 Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Purpose
In Canada, two in five people will develop cancer in their lifetime. Incidence rates for ‘all cancers combined’ and some specific cancers vary, with higher rates in the east than the west. Reasons for this geographic disparity are unclear, but may arise because of a complex interplay between modifiable risk factors, genetics and environment.  The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP) brought together five provincial/regional cohorts to create a federated model with a streamlined infrastructure to support research. 

Methods
Over 300,000 adults aged 30-74 provided health information and biological samples, as well as consenting to linkage with administrative databases, long-term follow up and use of their data/samples by ‘approved researchers’. An ELSI committee addressed the ethical and legal aspects of access under a federated model, while a data harmonization committee ensured generation of harmonized core variables for CPTP. Comparative analyses were undertaken a priori to ensure that the CPTP approaches were interoperable with key international cohorts.
 
Results
CPTP participants reported a wide range of socio-demographic characteristics, and prevalence of chronic disease was broadly consistent with the population. Over 700 harmonized variables have been created to date, and biological samples have been obtained from 50% of the cohort. Under a controlled-access approach, the central Access Office supports an independent Access Committee.  An interactive online portal allows researchers to browse the CPTP data dictionaries and facilitates electronic submission of access applications and tracking of the access process.
 
Conclusions
Even under a federated model, the CPTP accelerates research by leveraging existing efforts to create large, high quality datasets and biological sample repositories.  CPTP will support research into how modifiable risk factors, genetics and environment interact to impact cancer risk, ultimately contributing to reducing the global burden of cancer.
 
 
Funding sources:
Available at: http://www.partnershipfortomorrow.ca/partners/