A new and powerful resource is now available in Canada to help researchers in the fight against cancer and other chronic diseases. The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP) is the first national database designed to both document and follow the health of hundreds of thousands of Canadians for decades to come. CPTP seeks to better understand the complex pathways of disease, and is aimed at improving health outcomes for the next generations.
CPTP is the largest research database ever built in Canada, comprising harmonized information from five regional population health studies. Participants were recruited from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.
Dr. Catherine Boileau is the Director of Epidemiology at CARTaGENE, CPTP’s Quebec partner. She says the database offers researchers an opportunity to focus on analyzing data rather than starting from scratch to set up studies and recruit participants. Researchers have access to a wealth of biological and health data through a simple online request process.
“Collecting information, collecting biological material and physical measurements costs a lot of money,” Dr. Boileau notes. “Gaining access to this resource saves money and time. Instead of having to collect data, recruit people and process biological material, researchers can now access the high-quality biological material they need [through CPTP].”
Study participants are between the ages of 30 and 74, and have volunteered to provide updated health information over the course of their lives. They come from varying socio-economic backgrounds, and live in both large urban centres and remote rural towns. All have volunteered to fill out a baseline survey that includes detailed questions on their medical history, diet and lifestyle. They have also agreed to link their questionnaires and any bio-specimens with information from electronic health records.
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