Patient Representative: Judy Needham

Chair of the Patient Representatives Committee and supporting the CCTG Clinical Trials, Strategic Executive Advisory Council & Executive Committees

Resides in Abbotsford, BC | CCTG Patient Representative since 2012

"In addition to reviewing new trial proposals for potential patient feasibility issues, the patient voice helps ensure patient-oriented endpoints and questions accompany the scientific questions in our cancer clinical trials. Thus, patient engagement in research helps to enable patient centered care and better trial participation through ensuring endpoints that matter to patients are included. My focus and passion is to develop the processes within CCTG and Canada in general to enable the scientific community and patient community to work together to achieve these joint scientific and patient goals."

Judy became involved with CCTG in 2012 as a member of the Breast Cancer Disease Site Committee, moving on to become the Vice Chair and then Chair of the Patient Representatives Committee (formerly the Lay Committee) in 2014. In her role as chair, Judy has been instrumental in leading the redesign of the Patient Representative role at CCTG. Patient Representatives are now active contributors on disease site committees, identifying potential patient issues during trial design and ensuring patient-oriented endpoints and questions are included, along with the scientific questions, in CCTG clinical trials.

Judy is a seventeen year breast cancer survivor and recently a caregiver for a close family member with bladder cancer. Professionally, she is retired from a corporate marketing career as Director of Campaign Planning.  She chose early retirement after her cancer journey and began her long-standing volunteer work with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, organizing the first National Corporate Team for the CBCF Run for the Cure. Judy also led a project to develop patient facing materials distributed by surgeons in British Columbia that would help newly diagnosed breast cancer patients understand key junctures and decision points in their journey. These materials were subsequently taken up by for five provinces. She has a volunteer history with CCS and CCSRI in grant panels and Scientific Advisory Councils.  Currently, In addition to her volunteer responsibilities with CCTG, Judy has volunteer responsibilities with 3CTN Scientific Portfolio Committee, BC Cancer Provincial Research Advisory Committee, and her local Abbotsford Cancer Centre.

"Patient centred care, where the patient is at the centre of the decision-making process, including making informed decisions about the selection of treatment (intervention) and whether the treatment is a success (outcome), is dependent on patient engagement in research. In clinical trials, disease-oriented evidence is required to determine answers to the scientific question being asked and proven in the trial. However, in addition to the scientific question being asked, patients have questions related to their survival, resulting treatment symptoms, and their quality of life that also need to be answered in order that they can truly make informed decisions with their health care providers"