NACC-Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre:
Permission to Contact project update
When the clinical trials team at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) began the Permission-to-Contact (PTC) initiative in 2016, the team had an ambitious goal of generating a patient database within a year. Initially, the team planned to launch the initiative in April 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic as team personnel were deployed to pandemic-related activities which delayed training staff on the new PTC policy and process. Eventually, the PTC initiative was launched at RVH in December 2020 but had a slow start. The team reviewed results from the initial five months and revisited the process and added in a prompt to the Nurse Phone Assessment Questionnaire which reminded primary care nurses to present new patients with the opportunity to participate in the PTC program. This minor tweak in the process led to an exponential increase in the number of patients in the database; there are now 324 patients in the RVH PTC database. The RVH team is excited that the program is building momentum. The next step is to offer this program beyond newly diagnosed patients to all cancer patients at RVH.
Precision Oncology Map underway!
With funding received through the Precision Oncology Patient Innovation Award from Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc., 3CTN has begun the development of the Precision Oncology Map, a comprehensive visual representation of all active Canadian cancer clinical trials with a precision medicine focus.
This unique and user-friendly tool is designed to assist cancer patients, their caregivers and the research community in searching for active trials based on biomarkers or gene variants of interest. Within the Precision Oncology Map, actively recruiting clinical trials are categorized by cancer type, cancer stage, treatment line, tumour status and other research attributes. Users can further filter trials according to sub-categories of interest and to specific cancer treatment sites across Canada.
The Project Coordinator, Raisa Chowdhury was hired in February to review active cancer trials and support development of the Map. In addition, the Coordinating Centre is working alongside Jill Hamer-Wilson, 3CTN Patient Partner, to ensure a patient-centered approach is at the forefront of the project.
“This is an important and meaningful project. It truly matters to people affected by cancer to be able to navigate trial information concisely,” said Hamer-Wilson.
The first draft of the Map has been completed and in the coming months 3CTN will continue to consult with the research community and patient partner stakeholders, with completion of the project targeted for September 2022.
Quebec pilot project inspired by 3CTN’s Clinical Trial Navigator
Among the barriers to patient recruitment is the time and effort required by physicians and patients to be aware of, and ‘navigate’ amongst existing trial finding resources to identify options for which the patient is eligible. Inspired by 3CTN’s Clinical Trial Navigator (CTN) pilot project, Quebec Clinical Research in Oncology (Q-CROC) in collaboration with Quebec Cancer Consortium (QCC) and Dr. Jean-Francois Delisle at Maisonneuve Rosemont Hospital (HMR) have developed a Clinical Trials Navigator pilot project in Quebec, a first of its kind in the province.
The Q-CROC liaison coordinator at HMR has assumed the designated CTN role and services of the CTN. For this pilot phase, this service is being offered to oncologists at HMR for patients seeking trials available within the province, referencing trials identified on OncoQuébec. This eight-month pilot started on May 6 and will end on December 31, with plans for expanding the CTN service to QCC member centres as well as other centres in Q-CROC's network in the next phase.
New version of OncoQuebec now online
A new version of OncoQuébec, an online resource for sourcing available cancer clinical trials within the province of Quebec, has been redesigned based on user feedback and was re-launched in February 2022. The improved version allows users to conduct more targeted, rapid searches of trials open at Quebec cancer centres using additional filter criteria. View the website.
3CTN Patient Partner, Alison Stoneman shares with Orillia Matters, a local online news site, about her cancer journey and how she continues to draw inspiration from the cancer research community and the late Terry Fox. Read the article.
What cancer survivors can teach researchers
Dr. Victoria Forster, a long-term survivor of childhood leukemia and a guest speaker at the 2021 3CTN Annual Stakeholder Meeting, recently published an article in Nature Reviews Cancer on what cancer survivors can teach cancer researchers. In her article she discusses survivorship, patient advocacy and open questions as how best to engage patients or survivors in research. Read the paper.
The impact of COVID-19 on academic cancer clinical trials in Canada and the initial response from cancer centers
3CTN recently published a report in Current Oncology on the impact of COVID-19 on academic cancer clinical trials in Canada and the initial response from our member cancer centres. Read the paper.
Thank you to Outgoing Committee Chairs
Dr. Ian Tannock
Dr. Tannock was the Chair of 3CTN’s Management Committee since 2016 and a member of the Funders Oversight Committee from 2018-2022. During this time, he has made substantial contributions to the Network’s success, particularly in developing 3CTN’s scientific and operational objectives, performance measurement framework and process for evaluating progress and impact of program activities.
Dr. Craig Earle
Dr. Earle was the inaugural Chair of 3CTN’s Funders Oversight Committee since 2018 and a member of the Portfolio Committee from 2013-2017. He has played an important role in guiding Network opportunities and program activities to align with funder priorities and to maximize impact to Canada’s academic trial ecosystem.
Mr. Fred Clark
Mr. Clark was the Chair of 3CTN’s Patient Representative Advisory Council (PRAC) since 2018. During this time, the PRAC has helped to build on the Network’s Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) framework and guide the development and expansion of local PPI initiatives and patient partners at a majority of 3CTN member sites, setting the foundation of meaningful, impactful engagement in cancer trials planning and conduct.