Knowledge translation to improve cancer control in Canada: a new standing series in Current Oncology

Knowledge translation to improve cancer control in Canada: a new standing series in Current Oncology

E. Grunfeld , MD DPhil *
* Knowledge Translation Research Network, Health Services Research Program, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and Cancer Care Ontario, Toronto, ON.

KEYWORDS: Knowledge translation , implementation , cancer control

With this editorial, Current Oncology is introducing a new standing series on knowledge translation to improve cancer control in Canada. The objective of the series is to provide a forum for knowledge exchange by highlighting cancer knowledge translation activities occurring in Canada. Current Oncology wants to publish papers that describe programs, projects, policies, or field studies designed to improve the quality of care—whether related to prevention, screening, or treatment—by reducing the gap between what is known and what is practised.

We are now all well-versed in the importance of knowledge translation and the rationale for enhancing knowledge translation research and practice 1. Estimates of the slow pace and limited extent to which health care discoveries enter real-world practice 2 apply equally to cancer control as to other areas of health care. Indeed, the creation of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is predicated on the need to efficiently and equitably reduce the gap between knowledge and practice for the full spectrum of cancer control activities 3.

There is the science of knowledge translation, such as that promoted and funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research 1, and there is the practice of knowledge translation. The science of knowledge translation must inform and refine the practice, but it is ultimately real-world application—for the full spectrum of cancer control, in all jurisdictions, and across all health care sectors—that will make the difference for Canadians. A wealth of activities are underway throughout Canada, aiming to improve the implementation of research evidence into policy and practice. Unfortunately, these activities are often not published either because they are specific to the Canadian context, and are therefore not of interest to international journals, or they do not conform to the traditional research paradigm. Nevertheless, the lessons learned from these activities are extremely valuable, and would benefit others (be they practitioners, program developers, or policymakers) trying to achieve similar aims in their own jurisdictions. But there being no journal in which to publish these experiences, they cannot be appropriately adopted, adapted, or abandoned by others.

It is for that reason that Current Oncology is launching the new standing series. It will provide a forum to disseminate and exchange information about uniquely Canadian-relevant activities to an audience interested in all aspects of cancer control in Canada. The series will focus on papers that describe what is actually happening in the field, rather than on those describing standalone research projects. The rationale is that formal research projects can be published in a range of international journals, but that Current Oncology has a unique readership interested in what is happening in the cancer community in Canada.

Manuscripts are welcome and can be submitted at any time to this new standing series. Submitted manuscripts will undergo Current Oncology’s standard peer-review process. Being that the interest is in publishing programs, projects, policies, or field studies, the structure of manuscripts will be somewhat different from traditional research papers. Accordingly, manuscripts should address these points:

  • Background: Sets out the specific knowledge-to- practice gap that the project was designed to address. What were the specific objectives of the project? What knowledge translation theory, model, or framework was used to inform the project?

  • Implementation: Describes the specific knowledge translation strategy that was developed and implemented to meet the objectives. How was the project evaluated? What were the specific measures and the results of the evaluation? Was an economic evaluation undertaken?

  • Discussion: Sets out the conclusions that were drawn from the evaluation (and if not successful, why not). Was a decision taken to continue or abandon the activity? What might have been done differently? Are the results generalizable to other cancer control domains or other jurisdictions in Canada? Is the project sustainable?

The first six papers in the series will be published in the print version of Current Oncology. Subsequent papers will be published in the electronic version, which is now indexed and therefore searchable and retrievable.

The first of the series, a paper from Dr. Melissa Brouwers, will be published in April 2011 (Vol. 18, No. 2). Subsequent papers will describe the range of cancer control activities from prevention to policymaking. We look forward to receiving your submissions. Take advantage of this unique forum to describe the knowledge translation activities and programs in which you and your organization are engaged. The hope is that such a forum will promote knowledge exchange among those committed to improving the quality of cancer control in Canada.


The first six papers are being published with the support of Cancer Care Ontario and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (through funding provided by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ministry of Research and Innovation of the Government of Ontario).


Dr. Grunfeld is a clinicial–scientist who receives support from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research through funding provided by the Government of Ontario.


1 . Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research ( cihr ). Home > Publications > Knowledge Translation and Commercialization > Knowledge Translation Strategy 2004–2009: Innovation in Action [Web page]. Ottawa, ON: cihr ; 2008. [Available at:; cited November 5, 2010]

2 . Westfall JM, Mold J, Fagan L. Practice-based research: “blue highways” on the nih roadmap. JAMA 2007;297:403–6.
cross-ref  pubmed  

3 . Governing Council, Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control. The Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control: A Cancer Plan for Canada. Toronto, ON: Canadian Partnership Against Cancer; 2006. [Available online at:; cited November 5, 2010]

Correspondence to: Eva Grunfeld, 263 McCaul, Street, Room 329, Toronto, Ontario M5T 1W7,. E-mail:

(Return to Top)

Current Oncology , VOLUME 18 , NUMBER 1 , 2011

Copyright © 2019 Multimed Inc.
ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)