This month the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) clinical trials team is rolling out the “ASK ME” campaign. The trials team and other hospital staff are wearing buttons in a cross-Canada initiative to increase awareness about clinical trials. Hopefully, this will spark conversations with staff and patients about potential treatment options for patients that may be available in Thunder Bay.
Thunder Bay has recently partnered with Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) in a Pan-Canadian network collaboration initiative called the Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network (3CTN). This coordinating centre is designed to strengthen academic sponsored cancer clinical trials capacity and to improve patient outcomes. The partnership has opened opportunities for sharing of resources, staff training and support of operations, activities, and methods to facilitate faster study start-up and increase recruitment to academic trials.
Jessalyn Warren, Registered Nurse in the Clinical Research Services Department has been appointed as a dedicated coordinator to the 3CTN network since March of 2015. She states that this partnership with 3CTN has provided access to the resources and necessary supports that have helped us increase trials activity. We have been able to open many new clinical trials, which has created more opportunities for patients with cancer to receive treatments that would not otherwise be made available to them in Thunder Bay.
So this month staff, or patient and family advisors (PFAs), who are aware of this initiative will be wearing campaign buttons, handing out pamphlets and resource cards to anyone who is interested and directing patients to websites and study staff for more information.
We would like to encourage patients to approach staff about clinical trials in hopes of dispelling any misconceptions around cancer clinical trials and also to increase access to resources.
Please ask for a brochure or resource card or visit these three websites for more information, and to learn more about your rights as a research participant.