Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network Enhances Collaboration through Innovative Grants

Virtual Clinical Trials Navigation to Improve Outcomes for Princess Margaret and Stronach Regional Cancer Centre Advanced Solid Tumor Patients (VIRTUOSO 2.0)

Principal Investigators: Dr. Shaqil Kassam, Southlake Regional Health Centre, and Dr. Lindsay Carlsson, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

This project will expand an existing Princess Margaret (PM) clinical trials nurse navigator-led virtual care pathway for advanced cancer patients, designed to support patient access to trials and build stronger partnerships with community oncologists. There are three objectives: (1) to create a virtual clinical trials pipeline between PM and Stronach Regional Cancer Centre (SRCC) involving a referral pathway that introduces advanced cancer patients to clinical trials and genomic profiling early in their treatment trajectory; (2) to launch a digital platform for community oncologists and their patients to access personalized support and self-screen for PM and SRCC trials; and (3) to develop a collaborative care model aimed at addressing the complex needs of trial patients. This innovative project will improve the awareness of community oncologists and their patients of trial opportunities at PM and SRCC, enhance patient access to genomic profiling to guide future treatment decisions, and provide a model to improve collaboration and clinical trial operational efficiency across Ontario cancer centres.

From left to right: VIRTUOSO 2.0 – Dr. Shaqil Kassam (SL), Dr. Lindsay Carlsson (PM); The PM Cancer Education Hub – Dr. Breanna McGilvray (SL), Sarah Ramage Lee (SL), Dr. Janet Papadakos (PM), Tina Papadakos (PM)

Improving Access to Patient Self-Management and Education Resources through the PM Cancer Care Network Education & Learning Hub

Principal Investigators: Dr. Janet Papadakos & Tina Papadakos, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre; Breanna McGilvray & Sarah Ramage Lee, Southlake Regional Health Centre

This project aims to expand the reach of PM’s Cancer Education infrastructure to increase access to resources at Southlake and future PM Cancer Care Network (CCN) partners. Patient access to cancer information and self-management supports are a priority in Ontario. Self-management engages patients to actively participate in their care and is facilitated through education. The development of a PMCCN and Southlake online infrastructure enables sharing of PM educational assets tailored to Southlake patients’ needs. This will support improved access, self-management, and significant cost savings to partner organizations. A Content Management System will be developed to inventory PM educational assets and coordinate information sharing. A webpage will be developed to access materials, monitor traffic, and evaluate usage. The PM Cancer Campus online learning hub will facilitate Southlake HCPs access to courses that support patient and family engagement in self-management. An evaluation will be developed to assess patient, family, and HCP feedback.

Launching Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Care at the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre

The Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, led by Dr. Abha Gupta, is a unique program that focuses on unique needs of young adults (40 and under) who are facing the cancer journey a chance to connect, form a community and reduce the stress of going through cancer at a young age. As part of an initiative supported by the Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network and under the leadership of Dr. Alisha Kassam, the AYA program will be extended to the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre (SRCC) at Southlake Regional Health Centre. Marlie Smith, Interim Clinical Nurse Specialist with the AYA Program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, will be collaborating with SRCC healthcare providers and staff, and forming community partnerships to build local AYA capacity. She will be offering individual virtual consultations to create an open and safe space for patients to discuss their needs and access resources related to onco-fertility, mental health and survivorship.

Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network Welcomes Grand River Hospital as a New Partner

The Grand River Regional Cancer Program (Grand River) is the second cancer program in the province to join the Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network, to share world-class expertise and bring enhanced access to cancer services, clinical trials, and research to the residents of Waterloo Wellington.
“This partnership will strengthen ties between our two centres and provide streamlined access to clinical trials, advanced molecular testing, and other innovations for patients being seen at the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre,” says Dr. Keith Stewart, VP Cancer, UHN, and Director of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
Under an agreement, PM and Grand River will work together to leverage both centres’ respective strengths, resources and expertise; and continue to improve cancer care and access for Ontarians.”We’re thrilled to join the Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network and continue the great work happening locally,” says Dr. Gregory Knight, Grand River Regional Cancer Centre Chief of Oncology. ” This partnership will enable care teams across participating organizations to collaborate, share information and resources and create new opportunities for care and research for the patients we serve.”

“The aim of the Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network is to facilitate access to knowledge, expertise, and innovations available in our centre, while supporting collaborative care and existing relationships and initiatives,” says Dr. Andrea Bezjak, Medical Director of the PM Cancer Care Network.As regional cancer centres, Grand River and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PM) are part of a provincial network working in tandem with Ontario Health. This new partnership will not replace existing provincial networks, and will continue to support advancement of the Ontario Cancer Plan.The PM Cancer Care Network offers unique benefits to healthcare providers by enhancing access to educational materials, resources, customized courses and workshops, as well as second opinions and e-consults; access to tumour boards for complex cases; jointly hosted virtual care consults, and access to Adolescent and Young Adult Resources through connecting with patient support and advocacy groups.
“This partnership demonstrates our strategic commitment to relentlessly pursue strong partnerships and innovative solutions to deliver exceptional health care experiences for patients,” says Jane Martin, VP, Clinical and Diagnostic Services at Grand River Hospital and RVP Waterloo Wellington Regional Cancer Program.
Stronach Regional Cancer Centre (SRCC) at Southlake Regional Health Centre was the first member to join the PM Cancer Care Network in June 2022.

Learn more about the Network.

Growing Beyond our Walls – the Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network

On March 9, 2023, the Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network team presented to colleagues from the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Southlake Regional Health Centre, Grand River Hospital, and Eastern Health through PM Grand Rounds. The team discussed the rationale behind creating the Network, offerings to partners, and benefits to patients, caregivers and healthcare providers