July 11, 2018

New funding for the Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network will help more cancer patients access clinical trials

Toronto (July 11, 2018) – The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (the Partnership) today announced renewed funding for the Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network (3CTN). The funding will ensure Canada remains a world leader in academic cancer clinical trials, help to increase opportunities for patients to receive promising new treatments and continue to improve outcomes for cancer patients through research.

3CTN is a pan-Canadian initiative to improve patient access to trials and the efficiency and quality of clinical trials activities in Canada. It provides support and coordination for a network of teams at cancer treatment centres and hospitals, enabling sites to improve their capacity and capability to conduct trials, while also increasing access to trials for patients.

Prior to the establishment of 3CTN there had been a significant decline in trial recruitment in Canada. In its first four years, the Network reversed this decline and exceeded its goal of a 50 per cent increase in trial recruitment compared to the pre-3CTN baseline. Over the next two years 3CTN, together with its 44 Network sites across seven provinces, aims to see this number increase to 60 per cent.

The funding announced today will be used by 3CTN to build on the success of the organization’s first four years and to implement its 2018-2022 strategic plan. Following the initial two-year investment, OICR and the Partnership will look for opportunities to expand the reach and scope of the Network.

3CTN also announced today that Mr. Stephen Sundquist has joined the Network as its new Executive Director.

“We are thrilled with what we have been able to achieve with our partners and look forward to continuing our work to better connect Canadian cancer patients with clinical trials,” says Dr. Janet Dancey, Scientific Director, 3CTN. “Offering these opportunities to patients can result in better treatments and outcomes and helps to advance important cancer research.”

“Both patients and research in Ontario have benefitted from 3CTN’s efforts over its first four years. Sites in Ontario have seen a more than 80 per cent increase in patient recruitment and last year alone more than 2,300 patients were recruited to multi-centre academic clinical trials in Ontario,” says Dr. Christine Williams, Deputy Director, OICR. “By increasing awareness about trials and bolstering Canada’s clinical research infrastructure, 3CTN is helping to get new therapies to patients sooner.”

“As a clinician and researcher myself, I’ve seen firsthand how important the Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network is in facilitating multi-centre academic clinical trials,” says Dr. Craig Earle, Vice-president, Cancer Control at the Partnership. “Our organization is pleased to continue supporting this initiative in its push to improve patient access to high-quality clinical trials, and ultimately to the best available cancer treatments.”

In addition to increasing patient access to clinical trials, 3CTN’s new strategic plan aims to enhance patient and public involvement, improve trial performance and optimize the 3CTN portfolio of trials to create opportunities for new trials.

3CTN, in addition to the funding provided by OICR and the Partnership is being supported by six other partners: Alberta Cancer Foundation, CancerCare Manitoba, Eastern Regional Health Authority, QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation, BC Cancer Foundation, and Quebec Clinical Research Organization in Cancer.

About the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR)

We are a collaborative, not-for-profit research institute funded by the Government of Ontario. We conduct and enable high-impact translational cancer research to accelerate the development of discoveries for patients around the world while maximizing the economic benefit of this research for the people of Ontario. For more information visit www.oicr.on.ca.

About the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

As the steward of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control, the Partnership works with partners to reduce the burden of cancer on Canadians. Our partner network – cancer agencies, health system leaders and experts, and people affected by cancer – brings a wide variety of expertise to every aspect of our work. After 10 years of collaboration, we are accelerating work that improves the effectiveness and efficiency of the cancer control system, aligning shared priorities and mobilizing positive change across the cancer continuum. From 2017-2022, our work is organized under five themes in our Strategic Plan: quality, equity, seamless patient experience, maximizing data impact and fostering a sustainable health care. The Partnership continues to support the work of the collective cancer community in achieving our shared 30-year goals: a future in which fewer people get cancer, fewer die from cancer and those living with the disease have a better quality of life. The Partnership was created by the federal government in 2006 to move the Strategy into action and receives ongoing funding from Health Canada to continue leading the Strategy with partners from across Canada. Visit www.partnershipagainstcancer.ca.