Innovative Approaches to Optimal Cancer Care in Canada
April 7 – 8, 2017

Innovative Approaches to Optimal Cancer Care in Canada is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to connect with cancer colleagues from across Canada and learn about innovations in cancer care.

Join us and hear from renowned international and Canadian speakers who will inspire you with insights that span the cancer care continuum – screening, diagnosis and treatment, palliative and end-of-life care, and survivorship – and delve into key themes:

  • Quality of care for all
  • Diagnostic process: A clear pathway or a revolving door?
  • Overcoming inertia in the cancer system: Why don’t we do what we know works?

Who should attend? Health-care practitioners, leaders and key stakeholders who want to connect with colleagues and be part of important conversations that are changing the cancer experience in Canada:

  • What are the most promising advances in cancer care today?
  • How can we accelerate their adoption for the benefit of Canadian patients?
  • How can we improve cancer care for patients through system-level change?

We look forward to welcoming you to Toronto on April 7-8, 2017.

Registration & Hotel


Online registration is now open for the Innovative Approaches to Optimal Cancer Care in Canada conference. To register for the conference please visit our event registration website.

  • Before February 17, 2017: $275
  • After February 17, 2017: $350

Note: All fees are shown in Canadian funds and not inclusive of tax.


The conference will be held at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, Ontario.

If you require accommodation, we have negotiated a preferred hotel rate ($199 single/$219 double) at the Westin Harbour Castle. Visit the hotel’s website to reserve online or call 1-888-627-8558.

Reserve by March 6, 2017 and note that you are attending the Innovative Approaches to Optimal Cancer Care in Canada conference to take advantage of the preferred rate.

Visit the Westin Harbour Castle website for details on how to travel to the hotel upon arriving in Toronto.


Air Canada is offering a 10% discount for non-Tango fares for flights booked through aircanada.com. Enter promotion code CW8X7EX1 in the search panel.


The Scientific Program Committee is inviting abstract submissions from across Canada that demonstrate innovative improvements in the quality of care along the cancer care continuum: screening, diagnosis, active treatment, survivorship, and palliative and end of life care. To submit an abstract visit the abstract submission website.

In particular, the committee welcomes submissions that showcase Canadian innovations, results and lessons learned in policy, planning and service delivery with a focus on application and implementation in clinical care settings.

Abstracts will be considered for the following categories:

  • Specific, replicable initiatives to improve the quality of cancer care
  • Improving the diagnostic process
  • Cost and sustainability
  • Implementation science focused on demonstrated improvements in cancer services

Abstracts will be allocated for oral presentations (in either theme-based sessions or concurrent sessions) or as poster presentations. The selection process will be led by the Scientific Program Committee.

  • Submission deadline: January 9, 2017
  • Notification of acceptance: February 17, 2017

Suggestions for preparing your abstract:

  • Keep the abstract under 350 words (excludes title)
  • Include learning objectives, background and project objectives, methods, results and conclusion
  • Proofread your abstract carefully

The primary author will receive the notification of acceptance. Accepted abstracts will be published in a book of abstracts.

Program & Speakers


Join us and hear from renowned international and Canadian speakers who will inspire you with insights that span the cancer care continuum and delve into key themes:

  • Quality of care for all
  • Diagnostic process: A clear pathway or a revolving door?
  • Overcoming inertia in the cancer system: Why don’t we do what we know works?

Preliminary scientific program

Below is an outline of the preliminary scientific program.

Day One: April 7, 2017

Time Topic
7:00 AM—8:00 AM Registration/Breakfast
8:00 AM—8:20 AM Opening Remarks
8:20 AM—8:45 AM Keynote Speaker

Theme 1: Quality Initiatives

8:45 AM—10:00 AM International experiences: Principles and challenges of quality improvement initiatives
10:00 AM—10:45 AM Canadian experiences of quality initiatives
10:45 AM—11:00 AM Break/Poster Viewing
11:00 AM—12:00 PM Concurrent sessions
12:00 PM—12:45 PM Lunch/Poster Viewing

Theme 2: Economics of High Quality Care

12:45 PM—2:15 PM Impact of economics on the cancer system: Perspectives on quality, cost and impact on outcomes

  • International perspectives
  • Canadian perspectives
2:15 PM—2:30 PM Break/Poster Viewing

Theme 3: Improving the quality of cancer diagnosis

2:30 PM—4:45 PM Expanding the role of primary care in cancer control

  • International landscape
  • Canadian landscape
  • Opportunities
Cancer diagnosis: Quality initiatives and innovations
4:45 PM—5:00 PM Closing Remarks: Setting the stage for Day Two
5:00 PM—6:00 PM Reception/Poster Viewing

Day Two: April 8, 2017

Theme 4: Overcoming inertia in the cancer system: Why don’t we do what we know works?

Time Topic
8:30 AM—10:15 AM Why we are not applying what we know
10:15 AM—10:30 AM Break/Networking
10:30 AM—11:45 AM What are the five things we could do immediately to improve the quality of cancer control?

  • Round table discussion
11:45 AM—12:00 PM What We Heard
12:00 PM—1:00 PM Box Lunch


Confirmed international keynote speakers include:

Eric Schneider
Picture of Eric Schneider

Eric Schneider

United States: Principles and challenges of quality improvement initiatives

Dr. Eric Schneider is senior vice president for policy and research at The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that supports independent research on health policy around the globe. Dr. Schneider’s research has focused on evaluating and improving the quality and safety of health care.

Prior to joining the Fund, Dr. Schneider held the RAND Distinguished Chair in Health Care Quality.  In 2009, he became the first director of RAND’s Boston office. From 1997 to 2014, he was faculty of Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health where he taught health policy and quality improvement in health care and practiced primary care internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Dr. Schneider holds a B.S., cum laude, in Biology from Columbia University, an M.Sc. from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco. He is an elected fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Greg Rubin
Picture of Greg Rubin

Greg Rubin

United Kingdom: Streamlining the early diagnostic process

Dr. Greg Rubin is Professor of General Practice and Primary Care at Durham University, UK and directs their Evaluation, Research and Development Unit.

With over 190 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and reports, his current research focuses on the diagnosis and management of cancer in primary care and at the interface with secondary care.

He leads a substantial program of externally-funded research and service development in this field and is a senior investigator in the Department of Health-funded Policy Research Unit for Cancer Awareness, Screening and Early Diagnosis.

He advises Government and Cancer Research UK on the implementation of cancer strategy, was the Royal College of General Practitioners’ Clinical Lead for Cancer until 2014 and led the first English audit of cancer diagnosis in primary care.

David Currow
Picture of David Currow

David Currow

Australia: Why are we not applying what we know?

Dr. David Currow is the Chief Cancer Officer, NSW and Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Institute NSW, the NSW Government’s cancer control agency.  The role of the Cancer Institute NSW is to decrease the incidence of cancer, increase survival for cancer patients and improve the quality of care for people with cancer.

He leads a team of 200 people whose expertise and scope of activities include prevention (tobacco control, ultraviolet light protection), screening (BreastScreen, Cervical Screening and Bowel Screening), service performance and development (including Australia’s sole population-based clinical cancer registry), eviQ – the world’s major evidence-based protocol website in oncology, and Canrefer (linking general practitioners and consumers with multidisciplinary teams), and strategic research and investment.

Prior to joining the Institute in 2010, he was the foundation CEO of Cancer Australia, the Commonwealth’s cancer control agency.

Confirmed Canadian thought leaders include:

Claire de Oliveira, PhD
Picture of Claire de Oliveira, PhD

Claire de Oliveira, PhD

Expert Lead, Cancer Economics

Dr. Claire de Oliveira joined the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer as Expert Lead, Cancer Economics in 2016. In this role, she develops health economics expertise within the Partnership and supports efforts to deepen the capacity to quantify the burden of cancer and assess the economic impact of a coordinated, pan-Canadian approach to cancer control. She also works across cancer control initiatives to quantify efficiencies and support efforts to improve the sustainability of the cancer control system. Dr. de Oliveira is also a member of the Partnership’s Analytic Capacity Building Committee.

Dr. de Oliveira is a health economist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; an assistant professor at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto; and an adjunct scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. Her main areas of cancer-related research include the development of costing methodology, the use of administrative health care data to measure health services utilization and costs, and the assessment of value for money in cancer care.

Dr. de Oliveira holds membership with the Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control and is one of the program leads for Health Technology Assessment. In addition, she is a collaborator at the Toronto Health Economics Technology Assessment Collaborative.

Dr. de Oliveira holds Masters of Arts and Doctorate degrees in economics from McMaster University. She also holds a licentiate degree in economics from the University of Oporto in Portugal.

Craig Earle
Picture of Craig Earle

Craig Earle

Dr. Craig Earle, Program Director, Health Services Research, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Dr. Craig Earle is a Medical Oncologist at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto, the Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research’s Health Services Research and Clinical Trials Programs, a Senior Scientist and the Cancer Program Leader at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Earle is currently the Chair of the Ontario Steering Committee for Cancer Drug Programs, a member of the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review Expert Review Committee, and a Co-Chair of the Ontario Cancer System Quality Index Project Leadership Team.

Dr. Earle’s personal research interests focus on evaluating and improving the quality of care received by patients with advanced cancer and cancer survivors, the effect of financial incentives on care delivery, and making linked, de-identified administrative data more available for health research.

Tallal Younis
Picture of Tallal Younis

Tallal Younis

Dr. Tallal Younis, Clinician Investigator, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre

Dr. Tallal Younis is a Professor of Medicine at Dalhousie University and a Clinician Investigator at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His academic practice is focused on breast cancer and he is a co-chair of the provincial multidisciplinary breast site team.

Dr. Younis is a member of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer’s (the Partnership) Diagnosis and Clinical Care Advisory Group and an editor for the medical oncology section of Current Oncology. He is past member of the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review Expert Review Committee (pERC) as well as the Partnership’s Research Advisory Group

Dr. Younis’ research interests involve health services research and health technology assessments in breast cancer. He has received funding from a number of granting agencies including the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. He has authored and/or co-authored more than a 100 publication and abstracts primarily in the field of health economics research in breast cancer.

Dr. Younis received his medical degree from Cairo University in 1992 and a degree from MRCPUK (Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom) in 1998. He completed an internal medicine residency in 2001 at Columbia University in New York and a Medical Oncology Fellowship in 2003 at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. He is board certified (ABIM) in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology.

  • Malcolm Moore, President, BC Cancer Agency
  • Mike Milosevic, Chair, Canadian Partnership for Quality Radiotherapy


If you have questions about the Innovative Approaches to Optimal Cancer Care in Canada conference please contact: cancerconf@partnershipagainstcancer.ca