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Online service connects patients to clinical trials

Tom HudsonTORONTO – The Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network (3CTN) announced it has received funding to establish the network’s sites at cancer centres conducting clinical trials across Canada. 3CTN has also launched a new online service that will assist patients and clinicians in finding cancer clinical trials that may be of benefit.

“This funding is great news for Canada’s cancer clinical trials infrastructure, which is essential for bringing the most promising therapies and technologies to the clinic,” says Dr. Tom Hudson (pictured), President and Scientific Director of OICR. “Connecting patients to clinical trials is important in moving the science forward, but also allows us to provide avenues of treatment for those patients who have exhausted standard treatment options.”

The funding comes from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (the Partnership), the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) and CancerCare Manitoba.

These contributions are the first from 3CTN’s coalition of cancer research funding organizations. 3CTN is in the process of finalizing additional funding commitments.

3CTN is a pan-Canadian initiative to improve patient access to trials and the efficiency and quality of clinical trials activities in Canada. Its aim is to provide support and coordination for a network of teams at cancer treatment centres and hospitals and enable the sites to increase their capacity and capability to conduct academic trials and increase access for patients to participate in trials.

Seven Network Regional Coordinating Centres and 15 Network Cancer Centres will be established by 3CTN with the funding. In the future 3CTN will expand to include many Network Affiliated Cancer Centres.

Currently 3CTN has 229 clinical trials in its portfolio including 60 pediatric trials, with more to be added as they are ready to be opened for patients. These academic trials supported by 3CTN reflect the priorities of clinicians, researchers, patients, ministries of health and funders.

“Connecting cancer patients with clinical trials may help to improve their chances of better treatment and outcomes, two key elements of Canada’s national cancer strategy. By strengthening the environment for cancer clinical trials in our country, 3CTN will improve the quality of cancer care for all Canadians,” says Ms. Shelly Jamieson, CEO of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

“With approximately 24,000 individuals diagnosed with breast cancer each year, the investment by CBCF to 3CTN reflects our commitment to bring new breast cancer treatments to patients sooner. Supporting the breast cancer clinical research community is critical for ensuring that innovative Canadian research has an opportunity to improve outcomes and the quality of life for all Canadians affected by breast cancer,” says Ms. Sandra Palmaro, Co-CEO Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

The funding contribution from CancerCare Manitoba comes as the Government of Manitoba highlighted supporting academic clinical trials as a priority in its Speech from the Throne on November 20, with the specific goal of increasing patient participation in clinical trials.

“Ontario is thrilled that organizations from across Canada have come together to fund this important initiative. This network will give researchers the ability to bring life-saving innovations into cancer centres sooner and offer more patients the opportunity to join clinical trials. Both may lead to better treatments and healthier outcomes for people in Ontario and around the world,” said Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation.

About OICR
OICR is an innovative cancer research and development institute dedicated to prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The Institute is an independent, not-for-profit corporation, supported by the Government of Ontario. OICR’s research programs provided support to more than 1,700 investigators, clinician scientists, research staff and trainees located at its headquarters and in research institutes and academia across the Province of Ontario. OICR has key research efforts underway in small molecules, biologics, stem cells, imaging, genomics, informatics and bio-computing. For more information, please visit the website at www.oicr.on.ca.

About the Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network (3CTN)
3CTN is a pan-Canadian initiative to improve the efficiency and quality of academic clinical trials in Canada. It will provide support and coordination for a network of teams at cancer treatment centres and hospitals. With local-regional participation, 3CTN’s business plan will enable sites to increase their capacity and capability to conduct academic trials. OICR, NCIC Clinical Trials Group and Network of Network (N2) together function as the 3CTN coordinating centre. OICR will provide the central coordinating hub and secretariat for a network with centres across Canada. For more information please visit www.3ctn.ca.

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