Patient Representative: Joan Petrie

Supporting the IND and the CCTG Correlative Sciences Tumour Biology Executive Committees

Resides in London, Ontario | A CCTG Patient Representative since 2011

"Rare cancers are frequently addressed by CCTG through international cooperative groups, umbrella or basket trials - a unique opportunity benefiting Canadians. Current oncology research and personalized medicine is making it possible to match the study treatment to the specific tumour type. CCTG is leading the way with this research through Canadian trials, leveraging the opportunity and organization’s ability to revise current standard of care treatments."

Joan is the caregiver for her husband who was diagnosed with sporadic medullary thyroid cancer in 2004. Medullary thyroid cancer, both familial and sporadic, is a rare cancer, comprising approximately 5% of all thyroid cancer diagnoses. According to Joan the interventions were stressful for him and anxiety provoking for their family. She is a social worker and teacher who turned her family's experience into advocacy bringing the patient experience to a number of volunteer roles; as the community representative on the Western University Health Sciences Research Ethics Board, and prior to this the Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board.

As a member of two executive committees as well as supporting the CAPTUR Trial Committee, Joan believes that the patient voice on CCTG committees brings the patient and family experience by supporting trials, offering suggestions based on their own interaction with oncology, ensuring quality of life, supportive care, patient reported outcomes are part of clinical trials.

"Participating in a clinical trial is an opportunity to access innovative agents and methodologies, particularly combinations of treatment approaches – surgical, medical oncology, radiation. While everyone volunteering to participate in trial hopes for a personal response for their disease, they also participate for the greater good – to help others in the quest for a better treatment path."