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Alberta Cancer Foundation

News Release

Alberta Cancer Foundation funding to strengthen Alberta’s ability to offer clinical trials


December 11, 2012 – The Alberta Cancer Foundation has awarded more than $3.1 million dollars to support cancer clinical trials research across this province, recognizing their importance as key research tools to advance medical knowledge and patient care in this province.


Currently, Alberta leads the country in the highest number of patients signing up for clinical trials (11 per cent compared to the seven per cent national average). To continue this level of excellence, the Alberta Cancer Foundation and Alberta Health Services Cancer Care are working closely together to ensure patients across the province continue to have access to improved treatments and outcomes. 


For many patients, clinical trials offer an option when there are no other treatment choices left. Eight years ago, Cecile Comeau’s breast cancer was spreading quickly and Dr. John Mackey, director of the Clinical Research Unit at the Cross Cancer Institute, offered her the chance to participate in a trial. Today, she is healthy and grateful she had the chance to take part in what was a novel treatment at the time for her aggressive disease. “I had nothing to lose and now I celebrate every birthday with a real gratitude for being given this chance,” says Cecile. “Without clinical trials, we could not improve current cancer treatments,” says Dr. Mackey. “New drugs and new combinations of drugs must be tested and this is the way we find out what works and what doesn’t.”


This recent commitment from the Alberta Cancer Foundation will fund infrastructure needed to support trials, including investigator-initiated studies at both the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary and the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton. These physician-initiated trials are innovative ideas for trialing a drug or treatment protocol in a novel way to improve patient outcome and ease the cancer journey. This continuing support will keep Alberta at the cutting-edge of science for cancer care and control.


 “We are committed to ensuring our donors’ dollars deliver the impact that meets their expectations,” says Myka Osinchuk, CEO of the Alberta Cancer Foundation. “Investing in clinical trials is one of the ways we can deliver on those outcomes that matter to Albertans—improved survival and improved quality of life.”


“Alberta Health Services – Cancer Care and the Alberta Cancer Foundation continue to support cancer research excellence in this province,” says Dr. Paul Grundy, Senior VP and Senior Medical Director of Cancer Care for Alberta Health Services. “Clinical trials allow us to meet the challenge of finding new, improved treatments. The more data we can gather, the more we can strengthen patient care.”


For more information, please contact:

Phoebe Dey
Alberta Cancer Foundation
(780)700-6120 or phoebe.dey@albertacancerfoundation.ca