Canadian Cancer Trials Group Bulletins


2010 Spring Meeting

As most of you know, the Canadian Cancer Trials Group's financial support for many of our activities has been stressed by the economic climate and a complexity of factors that influence our research environment. In response to a detailed review of our financial operations, and in order to maintain the activities that are of our highest priority, we have begun a process to restructure our Central Office and to develop approaches for obtaining project funding over and above that supplied by current grants and contracts. The results of this process will be presented to you once mature. Some of these issues have been discussed with our leaders, including the Clinical Trials Committee, Centre Representatives Executive Committee, Chair of the Clinical Research Associates (CRA) Steering Committee and with Scientific Committee Chairs. A systematic process and continued engagement with you will follow over the coming months.

In addition to steps already being taken within Central Office, it is necessary to reduce the overall costs associated with our Annual Spring Meeting. The cost of the 2009 meeting in Toronto was approximately $750,000. In order to have a meeting of the same size and scope in Montreal in 2010, the cost would be considerably higher: $1,000,000. This is because of increased travel costs associated with the large number of Canadian Cancer Trials Group investigators who hail from the Greater Toronto Area and southern Ontario. Based on the current budgetary picture, we need to contain the costs of the 2010 meeting to a budget of $500,000.

As a result, a reduced number of funded invitations will be offered and a process to institute partial funding will be implemented. We will not be able to offer invitations to centres based on the previously used "alive and on follow‐up" formula (i.e. centre nominations). In addition, we will not be able to offer invitations to CRAs beyond those on the CRA Steering Committee and those associated with Scientific Committee Executives. We will also be scaling back the scope of the activities that will take place at the 2010 meeting; in particular, we will not be scheduling any of the Thursday activities typically held during past meetings. We are planning for a CRA Steering Committee ThinkTank for Friday, April 30. The details of the Spring Meeting Agenda and policies for funding will be provided with the Meeting invitations.

Finally, we will be canceling the 2010 Fall Meeting. Separate processes to address the scientific priorities associated with that meeting will be developed.

We are extremely aware of how this will affect staff and investigators at our centres. We are extremely grateful for your longstanding loyalty and continuing contributions to the Canadian Cancer Trials Group and the efforts required to participate in our trials. Once we have dealt with our financial pressures, we will be in a position to make more funding available to our members, and reinstate the previous range of activities at future meetings. In the meantime, we truly hope as many investigators as possible will find the means to attend the Spring Meeting in Montreal, even if fewer than normal are fully funded. We very much recognize and are deeply appreciative of your ongoing collaboration and commitment, which is central to our collective continuing success.
Thank you very much for your understanding and patience.