W.G. Cosbie Lectures

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2016 Cosbie Lecture
Canadian Cancer Trials Group Annual Spring Meeting of Participants
29 April 2017
Toronto, Ontario

Sponsored By: Canadian Oncology Societies / Cancer Care Ontario / Canadian Cancer Trials Group


GERALD BATIST, MD, CM, CQ, FRCP(C), FACP, FCAHS
Precision Medicine Requires Precise Targets and a Community of Patients

Dr. Gerald Batist is the former Chair of the Department of Oncology at McGill University and Director of the McGill Centre for Translational Research in Cancer. A major award from the Canada Foundation for Innovation led to the expansion of the Centre and its integration into the Segal Cancer Centre at the Jewish General Hospital, which he also directs.
Dr. Batist is a clinician-scientist trained in medical oncology and molecular pharmacology. His work, both in his lab and clinical research, focuses on therapeutic resistance. This includes large consortia of biopsy-based clinical trials. In 2014, he co-led a successful application that resulted in the establishment of the Canadian National Centre of Excellence in Personalized Medicine, Exactis Innovations. The core feature is a program to build a massive biobank and database linked to a prospective longitudinal registry of cancer patients followed throughout the trajectory of their illness – a project called 'Personalize My Treatment'. In 2016, Dr. Batist was appointed Member of the Order of Canada and Knight of the National Order of Quebec.
In 1976, the Ontario Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation established a lectureship in honour of Dr. W. Gerald Cosbie

Dr. Cosbie was born in Toronto on January 29, 1894. He was educated at Upper Canada College as well as the University of Toronto Medical School. After graduating in 1915, he joined the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. He served with the Third Canadian Division and was wounded at Vimy Ridge. His distinguished service saw him awarded the Military Cross for outstanding bravery.

Upon his return to Canada in 1919, he undertook graduate studies and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, as well as a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. He pioneered and refined certain treatments for gynaecological cancer. On September 13, 1921, he cared for the first patients who were treated with radiotherapy at the Toronto General Hospital (TGH).

Dr. Cosbie was a gynaecological consultant at the Ontario Institute of Radiotherapy at the TGH when his colleague, Dr. Gordon Richards, died in 1949. Despite the demands of a busy practice and lecturing and clinical commitments at the University of Toronto and at the TGH, Dr. Cosbie stepped in to fill the void left by Dr. Richards. Dr. Cosbie succeeded him as a member of the Ontario Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation, as Chairman of the Advisory Medical Board and its Executive Committee. He also played an important role in discussions with the provincial government, ultimately leading to the establishment of the Ontario Cancer Institute.

He retired from the staff of the university in 1954 and accepted the post of Medical Director of the Foundation, on a part-time basis. Dr. Cosbie had unofficially been performing these duties since 1949. The position became full-time once he retired from his private practice.

In 1957 Dr. Cosbie became Vice-chairman of the Foundation, a post he held until 1971.

On June 30, 1965, Dr. Cosbie stepped down from his post as Medical Director. Under his vigorous and able leadership, many new programs had been introduced and existing programs improved and expanded. He was an entertaining raconteur, a fluent speaker, and a skilled writer, making him an excellent representative of the Foundation and a strong proponent of its work. In 1973, after moving to Vancouver, Dr. Cosbie resigned from the Board after serving the Foundation and the Advisory Medical Board committees for many years.

The first Cosbie Lecture, which was awarded to the newly-formed Canadian Oncology Society, was delivered on January 27, 1977 in Toronto, by Mr. Basil Morson, the distinguished pathologist of St. Mark’s Hospital in London, England. Dr. Cosbie was on hand for the occasion.

Year Lecturer
2016 Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz
Toronto, ON
Global Cancer Control - Challenges and Opportunities
2015 Dr. Joseph M. Connors
Vancouver, BC
Yin and Yang: Population-Based Studies and Clinical Trials – Lessons from Lymphoid Cancer
2014 Dr. Ian Tannock
Toronto, ON
Whither (or Wither?) the Randomised Clinical Trial?
2013 Dr. Elizabeth Eisenhauer
Kingston, ON
Initiatives to Advance the State of Cancer Clinical Trials in Canada – Hope in Spring
2012 Dr. Robert Califf
Durham, NC
The American Clinical Trials Enterprise: Are We Reaching the Tipping Point for Transformation?
2011 Dr. Bernard Cummings
Toronto, ON
Radiation Therapy, Rectal Cancer and Clinical Trials: Lessons and Opportunities
2010 Dr. Hartley S. Stern
Montreal, QC
5 Year Survival of Clinical Cancer Trials in Canada: Perspective of a Lapsed Investigator
2009 Dr. Frances A. Shepherd
Toronto, ON
Lung Cancer: A Journey from Nihilism to Hope Through Bench to Bedside Research
2008 Dr. Kathleen Pritchard
Toronto, ON
Thirty Years of Breast Cancer Research in the NCIC CTG" or " How time flies when you're having fun"
2007 Dr. Joseph Pater
Kingston, ON
Clinical Research in Canada: Four Decades in Evolution
2006 Dr. George Browman
Toronto, ON
Five Steps: Introducing a Tool to Facilitate Resource Allocation Decisions About Cancer Care Drug Funding
2004 Dr. Anthony Fields
Edmonton, AB
Evolution of Cancer Advocacy in Canada
2002 Dr. Steven Gallinger
Toronto, ON
Impact of Genetics and Clinical Care of Patients and their Families
Year Lecturer
2001 Dr. Charles Weijer - Halifax, NS
2000 Dr. John Potter - Seattle, WA
1999 Dr. Richard Bakemeier - Denver, CO
1998 Dr. David Osoba - Vancouver, BC
1997 Dr. Janet Rowley - Chicago, IL
1998 Dr. David Osoba - Vancouver, BC
1997 Dr. Janet Rowley - Chicago, IL
1996 Dr. Balfour Mount - Montreal, QC
1995 Dr. Henry Shibata - Montreal, QC
1994 Dr. Joseph Pater - Kingston, ON
1993 Dr. Jack Roth
1992 Dr. W. Thomas - Seattle, WA
1991 Dr. Alan Gerulath
1990 Dr. James H. Goldie - British Columbia
1989 Dr. James Cox - Houston, TX
1988 Dr. Charles Balch - Houston, TX
1987 Dr. David Schottenfeld - Ann Arbor, MI
1986 Dr. D.E. Bergsagel - Toronto, ON
1985 Dr. David Boyes - British Columbia
1984 Dr. Robert W. Bruce - Toronto, ON
1983 Dr. Oliver Beahrs - Rochester, MN
1982 Dr. R.B. Livingston
1981 Dr. Malcolm A. Bagshaw - California
1980 Dr. J.P. Smith - Detroit, MI
1979 Dr. E.L. Wynder - New York, NY
1978 Dr. Marvin Schneiderman - Washington, DC
1977 Mr. Basil Morson - London, England