June 8, 2022 – Grand Falls-Windsor, NL: Eastern Health’s first Clinical Research Satellite Site is now open in Grand Falls-Windsor, NL. The site is among the first of its kind in the country and is part of the Canadian Remote Access Framework for Clinical Trials (CRAFT), which aims to broaden access to innovative treatment options made available through trials for eligible cancer patients, regardless of where they live in Canada.
Eastern Health’s first Clinical Research Satellite Site is the result of a partnership with the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor’s Excite Corporation, in cooperation with Central Health.
“Eastern Health is pleased to be a national leader in providing patients with this this type of access to clinical trials,” says Judy O’Keefe, Vice President, Clinical Services and Research. “This site is an excellent example of a strategic partnership that benefits patients and positions Eastern Health at the forefront of health innovation.”
The clinic will initially serve as a satellite site for the PRIME clinical trial, which is being run out of the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre in St. John’s, and is studying Metformin as a treatment to prevent metabolic syndrome in prostate cancer patients.
Patients who qualify for this trial will attend the Grand Falls-Windsor clinic for physical assessments, bloodwork, and other follow-up care, eliminating the need to travel to St. John’s while maintaining access to the study physician via Telehealth appointments. Involving the Grand Falls-Windsor site in this decentralized clinical trial approach will make it possible for more patients from Central Newfoundland to be enrolled.
“Decentralized clinical trials provide tremendous benefits for patients,” says Dr. John Thoms, Radiation Oncologist and Physician Director of Clinical Trials at the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre. “By eliminating the need to travel to a primary health-care facility in the city, we are able to give more patients in rural and remote areas the opportunity to participate in research that is changing the landscape of cancer treatment.”
Eastern Health was selected as one of three CRAFT proof-of-concept sites in Canada to receive project support and funding from the Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network (3CTN). Financial support for CRAFT has been provided by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and Health Canada. Eastern Health will invest further in building capacity at the site, hiring additional research staff as the model expands to include additional clinical trials.
“Grand Falls-Windsor’s goal is to be a rural health innovation hub which is accomplished through strategic partnerships with provincial health institutions and our local healthcare community,” says Barry Manuel, Mayor of the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor and Chair of EXCITE Corporation. “We take great pride in being a community partner that connects the people of rural Newfoundland and Labrador to the essential health services that improve their quality of life.”