Canadian Screening for CRC Research Network (CanSCCRN)




The Canadian Screening for CRC Research Network (CanSCCRN) is a pan-Canadian colorectal cancer (CRC) screening research network comprised of interested provincial CRC screening program personnel, researchers with expertise in CRC screening, and other stakeholders. This team will collaborate to address key research questions in CRC screening using the data from Canadian provincial CRC screening programs, other health administrative data, and prospectively collected data. Our membership, which includes decision-makers and expert researchers in the field, is designed to ensure that the research is methodologically rigorous, highly relevant to organized screening programs in Canada (and beyond), and to maximize rapid uptake of research findings thereby optimizing CRC screening for all Canadians.


Rationale and Justification:


There are province-wide organized colorectal cancer screening programs in 9 of 10 provinces and 1 of 3 territories in Canada. The other province and territories are at various stages in the development or roll-out of their programs. All programs offer fecal-based testing (most fecal immunochemical testing or FIT) to persons at average risk (no family or personal history of CRC) however, the kit used and the threshold to define a positive result varies across the country. There are other notable differences across programs, such as direct mailing of kits and the use of navigators to organize the diagnostic or follow-up colonoscopy if the fecal test is abnormal. As such, we are well-positioned to assess these various ‘natural experiments’ as well as to conduct prospective studies or trials. We plan to use existing provincial CRC screening program data as well as other health administrative data, possibly leveraging the recently funded national data platform (the Pan-Canadian Real-world Health Data Network or PRHDN) to conduct this work. The findings from this work are anticipated to be highly relevant to Canadian and international CRC screening programs. The unique collaboration between decision-makers and researchers will ensure strong in-project and end-of-project knowledge translation so that CRC screening participants benefit directly from the work.


Primary Aims:


  1. To foster collaboration between Canadian provincial and territorial CRC programs and researchers with expertise in CRC screening;
  2. To conduct innovative research in CRC screening using the data from Canadian provincial CRC screening programs, other health administrative data and prospectively collected data;
  3. To support evidence-based CRC screening program practice that will benefit the Canadian population.