The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is investing in a pan-Canadian approach to strengthen Canada’s ability to conduct practice-changing clinical trials and improve cancer outcomes for Canadians. With funding from the Partnership, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) has been selected to develop the Coordinating Centre for the Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network, the leadership and administrative hub of the still-to-be-created pan-Canadian clinical trials network. Dr. Janet Dancey, Program Director of the High Impact Clinical Trials Program at OICR will lead the Coordinating Centre. The NCIC-Clinical Trials Group and N2 (Network of Networks) are collaborating with OICR on the project.
“The Coordinating Centre will link to and build upon the strengths of Canada’s existing clinical trials groups,” says Dr. Heather Bryant, Vice-President of Cancer Control at the Partnership. “Supporting existing clinical trial centres in a coordinated network would provide the opportunity for more patients to take part in leading edge research studies.”
Clinical trials are an important component of improving and advancing medical care. They are a key step in evaluating new approaches to cancer treatment, palliation and support that lead to improved patient outcomes, including increased survival and improved quality of life.
The need for a pan-Canadian cooperative program to facilitate the initiation and conduct of academic cancer clinical trials in Canada was identified in the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance’s 2011 Report on the State of Cancer Clinical Trials in Canada. Following a competitive application process adjudicated by an international panel, OICR is the successful candidate to lead the development of this program.
“We are thrilled to be leading the creation of a pan-Canadian clinical trials network,” says Dr. Dancey. “The Coordinating Centre will increase Canada’s capacity and capability to undertake clinical trials being developed by investigators from the academic sector, leading to improved outcomes for people affected by cancer.”