3CTN to promote and expand equitable clinical trial access for Canadian cancer patients

New funding and support from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (The Partnership) will allow 3CTN to increase cancer clinical trial access for young people and those in remote communities

Toronto – (May 27, 2020) The Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network (3CTN) today announced new initiatives to increase trial access for young patients and to bring more clinical trials to those far from urban centres. These projects, which are important to expanding cancer clinical trial options for underserved populations, are being made possible by nearly $1 million in additional funding and support over the next two years from the Partnership.

Boosting trial access in rural and remote communities

Living a considerable distance from a major cancer centre represents a significant barrier to clinical trial participation for many Canadian patients in rural and remote communities. In response, 3CTN has spearheaded development of a remote access framework to enhance trial participation in smaller/remote cancer centres by addressing regulatory, ethical, legal and practical challenges. Resources and tools will be developed and shared with cancer centres in remote areas and 3CTN Network Centres will conduct a cluster of proof-of-concept studies as part of this initiative.

Giving young people more access to clinical trials

There is a lack of cancer clinical trials for adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients relative to the rest of the population. 3CTN will act to strengthen Canada’s clinical trial infrastructure for these patients by providing support for pan-Canadian clinical trial coordination to C17, a network of pediatric hematology, oncology, and stem cell transplant programs across Canada. Engaging with C17 will help advance pediatric clinical research and will help ensure AYA patients have access to appropriate trials. 3CTN will also conduct an AYA workshop to develop AYA-focused research.

“It is important to both cancer care and research that we make access to clinical trials equitable by focussing especially on those who face barriers such as young people and those in remote communities,” says Dr. Janet Dancey, Scientific Director, 3CTN. “We are excited and grateful to have received this funding from CPAC and look forward to strengthening and expanding our Network’s efforts to provide access to clinical trials.”

“Delivering remote clinical trials access for deserving patients that wouldn’t otherwise have the option is not only the right thing to do, it will also serve to enhance cancer care as well as benefit Canada’s research capacity and quality.” says Stephen Sundquist, Executive Director, 3CTN. “We are now poised to translate expertise into action by demonstrating proof of concept in oncology, tapping into the unique potential that already exists within our Network of Cancer Centres and continuing to draw from the experience of patient partners and other stakeholder partners.”

“Clinical trials are a crucial component of the cutting-edge cancer research that is happening across Canada. I am pleased and thankful to CPAC for providing this funding to ensure that more Canadians can have the option of clinical trials,” says Dr. Christine Williams, Deputy Director and Head, Clinical Translation of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, a primary funder of 3CTN. “I congratulate Dr. Dancey and her team on this welcome news.”

About the Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network

3CTN is a not-for-profit, pan-Canadian initiative aimed at supporting and improving the efficient delivery of academic cancer clinical trials through funding, resources and advocacy to improve the clinical trial environment and increase patient access to cancer clinical trials.

Media contact

Hal Costie
Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

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