Cancer clinical trials provide information about the safety and efficacy of potential medicines, how they should be used and who can benefit from them. Without the proof that these drugs work or work better than current treatments, then new options would not be available for patients. The researchers in the Investigational New Drug (IND) and Phase III Programs at CCTG identify promising new drugs for patients with cancer. The group conducts early trials (Phase I and II) that pave the way for larger Phase III trials identifying new and improved standard treatments.
CCTG trials are entirely independently conducted, analyzed and reported. Pharmaceutical or academic drug manufacturers provide CCTG access to their investigational drugs because they recognize the high quality research being conducted through the group. Drug partners may receive reports on the progress of trials involving their product but they do not play any role in the day to day conduct, nor analysis of any CCTG clinical trial.
Governance and independence
The Investigational New Drug (IND) Committee, IND Executive, the Early Trials Advisory Group and Clinical Trials Committee advise on the selection and overall direction of new drug studies while the Data Safety Monitoring Committee ensures patient safety. Members on these CCTG national committees represent the views of their cancer centres and their patients regarding potential benefits and feasibility of proposed studies.
Members of CCTG’s IND Program Executive (Phase I and II) and Clinical Trials Committee (Phase III trials) are leading Canadian academic researchers, lay representatives, pharmacists and research nurses who review and prioritize promising drugs for testing and oversee the conduct of CCTG led trials.
There are no pharmaceutical company or commercial representatives on any of these governance committees. All CCTG clinical trials, at all stages, are peer reviewed during grant process by national and international independent peer teams. Many trials are also subject to peer review during submissions for individual grants to support a specific trial.