From the Directors Desk: CCTG 2019 a year in review

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

As 2020 begins, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the hard work and accomplishments of our network of researchers and collaborators, both nationally and internationally, over the past year.

This year we supported 67 ongoing trials while working with our scientific network to activate 15 new trials of which 10 are being led by CCTG. This includes the IND234 trial that opened three new treatment arms this year—IND234 is the first trial to evaluate a precision medicine approach for patients with advanced prostate cancer using liquid biopsies for genomic testing.

Other new trials include; ALC6 (Hematologic), BR36, BRC7 (Lung), ENC1 (Gynecologic), HN10, HNC2 (Head & Neck), IND238, IND239 (Investigational New Drugs), LY18 (Hematologic), MAC26 (Breast), PR20 (Genito-Urinary), SC26 (Symptom Control).

Over the past year, there have been 12 primary publications as well as presentations at key scientific gatherings across the globe. At the 2019 ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco the CO26 trial and mutation burden results were presented, this trial is the first to suggest that patients with refractory colorectal carcinoma and high mutation burden may benefit from immune checkpoint inhibitors.

The ENZAMET | CCTG PR17 (NCT02446405) clinical trial results were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Scientific Meeting and published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). These results showed that enzalutamide can improve the survival by 33% of men with advanced, hormone‐sensitive prostate cancer compared with standard treatment.

CCTG 2019 Primary Publications include; IND205, IND208, IND215, IND218, IND219, IND221, IND222, IND229, LY15, MAC9, MEC4, PR17

Another key publication was the MEC4/Alliance A091201 study, the primary objective was to compare the progression-free survival rate at 4 months (PFS4) of patients with uveal melanoma treated with cabozantinib or chemotherapy. Although the primary objective was not met, this is the first trial the group has done for patients with metastatic uveal melanoma demonstrating we can do trials for patients with these rare cancers.

For the second year, the CCTG New Investigator Cancer Trials Practicum supported the training and engagement of six practicum participants; Dr. Thai Hoa Tran (CHU Sainte –Justine), Dr. Jacques Raphael (London Regional Cancer Program), Dr. Ayesha Bashir (Allan Blair Cancer Centre), Ali Hosni Abdalaty (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre), Dr. Aly–Khan A. Lalani (Juravinski Cancer Centre), and Dr. Terry Ng (The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Center). Also, congratulations to our 62 new investigators who have enrolled an impressive 739 patient participants to CCTG trials.

I would like to extend a warm welcome to the new 16 Centre Representatives and 23 Centre CRAs who will be working with their counterparts to support CCTG trial activity and their member institutions. We would also like to acknowledge the new CCTG committee chairs; Dr. Anthony J. Reiman, Dr. Sarit Assouline, Dr. Rosalyn Anne Juergens, Dr. Eileen Rakovitch, Dr. Lillian Siu, and Dr. Alexander Y. Sun, Dr. Mark S. Carey.

Moving into 2020 we will begin the 2026 Strategic Planning process and look forward to engaging with stakeholders from across the network. This year also marks the groups 40th Anniversary and we will be sharing some of the milestones from the four decades of clinical trial excellence through the CCTG website and on our social media profiles – stay tuned!

As we look to a new decade, I would like to extend our appreciation for the amazing collaboration from across the network that supports the research that will bring better outcomes for those living with cancer.