Canadian Cancer Trials Group Bulletins


Dr. Elizabeth Eisenhauer, Dr. Lesley Seymour and the
Canadian Cancer Trials Group's Investigational New Drug Program

As some of you may be aware, as of July 1, 2012, a very significant change in leadership of our IND Program will occur. As formally announced by Queen's University today, Dr. Elizabeth Eisenhauer will be stepping down from her position as Director of the IND Program in order to take on new responsibilities and a new career direction as Head, Department of Oncology, Queen's University, Kingston General Hospital, and Hotel Dieu Hospital. We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Lesley Seymour will assume the role of Director of our IND Program.

For 30 years, the Canadian Cancer Trials Group has had a very active and extraordinarily successful IND Program. Dr. Eisenhauer established the Program upon her recruitment to Canadian Cancer Trials Group in 1982. Since then, the IND Program has conducted 190 studies that have included almost 5,200 patients and tested more than 100 new anti-cancer drugs. New agents tested in these trials have included drugs subsequently tested in randomized controlled trials and with benefits demonstrated with that testing, some have been adopted as standard treatments. Other Program accomplishments have included forwarding the methodology of phase I-II clinical trials, serving as a platform for training new investigators, and facilitating the career development of Canadian investigators with interests in evaluating new anti-cancer drugs.

Elizabeth's accomplishments have been recognized nationally and internationally. This recognition has included delivering the 1998 Michel Clavel Memorial Lecture Plenary Session at the NCI-EORTC Investigational New Drug Symposium, being awarded the National Cancer Institute of Canada (now Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute) O. Harold Warwick Prize in 2002, and the Society of Gynecologic Oncology of Canada Presidential Medal in 2010, and most recently delivering the NDDO Honorary Award Lecture at the Targeted Anti-Cancer Therapy Congress. Since 2008, Elizabeth's activities have been split between Canadian Cancer Trials Group and her role as Chair of the Research Action Group of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and Co-Chair of the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance, where she has provided exemplary leadership, including forwarding the mission of clinical trials research.

As of July 1, Elizabeth will be transitioning her career to become Head, Department of Oncology, Queen's University, Kingston General Hospital, and Hotel Dieu Hospital. In her new role, Elizabeth will bring her expertise to successfully oversee an academic department and, as Medical Program Head, oncology clinical service delivery. Queen's University and its associated teaching hospitals are extraordinarily fortunate to have Elizabeth bring her vision and enthusiasm to these important areas. While Canadian Cancer Trials Group, and its IND Program, will deeply miss Elizabeth's leadership, we will benefit from her continued involvement with the Group as a participant in Group and IND executive activities and as a colleague and collaborator in the Kingston environment.

Dr. Lesley Seymour will succeed Dr. Eisenhauer as the IND Program Director. Since 1996, Lesley has been the Co-Director of the IND Program and has worked in partnership with Elizabeth. Lesley is a medical oncologist and professor in the Department of Oncology at Queen's University. Her unique credentials and background prior to joining Canadian Cancer Trials Group include obtaining her PhD, with her thesis entitled the modulation of the biologic behaviour of breast cancer: in vitro models and clinical correlates, Project Leader within the research department of a large pharmaceutical company, and Director of Medical Oncology at Memorial University. Lesley's leadership activities in anticancer drug development and clinical trials research include chairing the Clinical Trials Design Taskforce of the NCI/Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program's Investigational Drug Steering Committee and co-chairing the RECIST Working Group. She has had extensive involvement with the American Society of Clinical Oncology, including memberships on many committees. Lesley also has advisory roles with Health Canada and Cancer Care Ontario. In addition to Lesley's role in the IND Program, she has led the development of Canadian Cancer Trials Group regulatory and monitoring programs and overseen numerous practice changing phase III studies in an international arena. Our Group has benefited enormously from Lesley's contributions over the past 16 years and we are delighted that she has agreed to take on the role of IND Program Director. In addition to this responsibility, Lesley will continue to be Director of our Audit and Monitoring Program.

The IND Program is a crucial part of Canadian Cancer Trials Group activities. We have benefited enormously from Elizabeth's leadership and offer her our very best wishes for continued success in her new role. We are equally fortunate to know that the excellence of IND activities will be continued under Lesley's leadership. On a personal note, since transitioning my career to Canadian Cancer Trials Group in 2006, I have benefited enormously from the support, wisdom, and guidance of both Elizabeth and Lesley. They are deeply valued colleagues and I look forward to continuing to work with both Elizabeth and Lesley in their new roles.

Please join me in giving our congratulations and best wishes to Drs Eisenhauer and Seymour.

Yours sincerely,

Ralph M. Meyer, MD, FRCP(C)
Director, Canadian Cancer Trials Group
Edith and Carla Eisenhauer Chair in Clinical Cancer Research
Professor, Departments of Oncology, Medicine
and Community Health and Epidemiology, Queen's University

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact Canadian Cancer Trials Group Bulletin