UHN Team Awarded PCORI Funding

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Funds will enable development of therapy for those with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).
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Krembil Affiliate Scientist Dr. Rosemary Martino (pictured) is the Principal Investigator of the PCORI-funded study known as “PRO-ACTIVE”.

Congratulations to Dr. Rosemary Martino and the UHN-led team that was awarded $8.5 million (USD) in funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

The funding will support a multi-site study, called PRO-ACTIVE, that will focus on evaluating the effectiveness of proactively providing therapy to help those with head and neck cancer who experience difficulty swallowing (a condition known as dysphagia). These patients often experience serious difficulties swallowing as a result of the location of the tumour or the radiotherapy used to treat it, and a common current practice is to wait until these difficulties appear before starting therapy.

Dr. Martino’s PRO-ACTIVE study was selected through a highly competitive review process in which patients, caregivers and other stakeholders joined scientists to evaluate the proposals. The award has been approved, pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract.

Two of Techna’s core teams will provide expertise, technology, development and support for the study led by Dr. Martino: Quantitative Imaging for Personalized Cancer Medicine (QIPCM) will provide end-to-end medical imaging and radiation therapy solutions to enhance consistency and reliability in imaging and study data; and Health Informatics Research (HIR) will enhance and customize its suite of technology solutions to support secure and high-quality collection of patient-reported outcomes and clinical research data.


PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by the U.S. Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions.

Read full release here.