Collaborations & Networks

Our members enjoy a wide range of specific collaborations locally, nationally and internationally. These include research collaborations with:

  • The BC Cancer Research Centre (BCCRC) and BC Cancer on a number of basic, translational and clinical research studies
  • The National Cancer Institute (USA)
  • Oncology investigators at universities and institutes across North America and Europe

Provincial Pediatric Oncology Network

BC Children's Hospital Research Institute (BCCHR), in partnership with other stakeholders in British Columbia, has taken on a leadership role in the Provincial Pediatric Oncology/Hematology Network. The Network is co-sponsored by BC Children's Hospital (BCCH) and BC Cancer, with start-up funding anticipated from the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA).

Four program areas are prioritized for development by the Network:

  1. Long-term surveillance of both pediatric and adult survivors of pediatric malignancies
  2. Educational and communication programs, to ensure appropriate care is delivered in local communities
  3. Development of psychosocial supports for patients throughout the province
  4. Networking with community-based palliative care groups

Research has been identified as one of the seven main functions of the Network. During the Network's planning process, the need for more coordination and collaboration between research activity at BCCH and BC Cancer was identified.

In particular, the key areas targeted for improvement are:

  • Increasing collaboration between BCCH and BC Cancer research, and enhancing pediatric research at BC Cancer
  • Developing a program for affiliate members in clinical research
  • Enhancing linkages with AYA (adolescent to young adults), including outcomes research in adolescents aged 16–20, in order to improve treatment outcomes for this cohort.

There is agreement that the Network will increase the overall coordination between BC Children's and BC Cancer, including acknowledgement of the contribution to clinical research made by the clinical trials conducted within Children's Oncology Group, and increasing the formal and informal linkages between the basic researchers at the BC Cancer Research Centre and BCCHR.

Children's Oncology Group (COG)

The Children's Oncology Group (COG) is a National Cancer Institute-supported (U.S.) clinical trials cooperative group devoted exclusively to childhood and adolescent cancer research. It is the largest children's oncology network in the world. The division at BC Children's Hospital is a major participant in COG, both as a clinical research site, and in the provision of leadership to overall COG initiatives. Dr. Caron Strahlendorf is the site PI for the COG studies. She is also on the Research Ethics Committee.

COG has significant impact on the basic science and the conduct of clinical trials for pediatric oncology in North America. The accepted standard of care for children with pediatric malignancies is to place them on available clinical trials whenever possible. BC Children's membership in this network enables children in British Columbia to receive the most current and successful therapies, and it gives the research and clinical teams here the opportunity to be part of the world's leading group in the development of basic and clinical research for children with cancer. COG membership provides BCCHR's Childhood Cancer & Blood Research Group easy access to other investigators in the field, participation in both biological and clinical trials, and the ability to ascertain tumour specimens relevant to the research within this research program.

As members of COG, researchers in British Columbia also cooperate with other leading child health institutions to test a wide range of treatment options on large populations of pediatric oncology cases, bringing new therapies into active treatment regimens more quickly than would otherwise be the case. Clinical trials conducted within COG consist of Phase I, II and III trials and the clinical investigators of this Division are active participants in these trials. In 2012, BCCH Hem/Onc/BMT were involved with approximately 40 open/pending Phase I, II and III interventional trials and approximately 45 non-interventional studies.