May 20, 2017 12:11 am
Updated: May 30, 2017 1:39 pm

Cancer-related clinical trial enrolment rate in Alberta higher than national average

WATCH ABOVE: Clinical Trials Day took place on Friday to mark the very first controlled clinical trial in 1747. As Shallima Maharaj shows us, the concept has come a long way.


EDITOR’S NOTE: The original version of this story stated that the clinical trial enrolment rate in Alberta is higher than the national average. This information was taken from a news release promoting a Clinical Trials Day event in Edmonton. While the release read: “Alberta has a higher clinical trial enrolment rate than the national average,” further clarification has revealed this statement is strictly related to cancer clinical trial enrolment rates.

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After being diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2011, Kathy Kammermayer has come a long way.

Her course of treatment included medications. One of them was Herceptin. It is often touted for its effectiveness, however, patients are also cautioned about the risk it presents: heart damage.

“I just thought if I’m going to go through this battle with cancer and undergo the treatment, I should be able to contribute something,” Kammermayer said.

She made the decision to participate in a clinical trial, with the goal of preventing that risk for other patients. Kammermayer, who works as a laboratory technologist, is now cancer free and channelling her fighting spirit in a different direction.

“About a year and a half ago, I started attending a boot camp, getting myself more active and improving my fitness level,” she said Friday. “My heart’s able to keep up with me and at 53, I love that extra activity.”

The trial she was involved with is known as Manticore.

“Not only the 100 women in Edmonton benefited from this study. It means thousands of people around the world are also going to benefit from this treatment,” said Dr. John Mackey, director of the clinical trials unit at the Cross Cancer Institute.

Since 2010, the Alberta Cancer Foundation has invested more than $20 million in support of clinical trials. Alberta has a higher rate of enrolment in cancer-related clinical trials than the national average.

“We all want to see the day when these treatments are so much better, so much safer and so much more effective. So this is the process by which we go, from where we are today, to where we want to be,” Mackey said.

Clinical Trials Day is observed around the world. It is held in honour of the first controlled clinical trial, that took place in 1747.

Scottish surgeon James Lind used the method to treat scurvy-stricken sailors in the Royal Navy.


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