Newfoundland Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation
Newfoundland Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation
Clinical Trials Department
Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre
Prince Philip Drive
St. John’s, NL A1B 3V6
Telephone: 709-777-7557
Fax: 709-753-0927

Newfoundland Cancer Treatment
and Research Foundation

Welcome to the website of the Newfoundland Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation (NCTRF). Our vision, "Together we strive to do the best for each person", reminds us constantly and daily of our commitment to excellence in cancer care for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. Every day of the year, we strive for excellence in our people, programs, services and facilities so that we deliver our best to patients and their families. Our website is another way of providing information to our cancer patients and their families. We have attempted to make the website easy to follow and provide basic information about the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre in St. John’s, NF and the regional programs and services operated by our organization.

The information contained within our website is intended to help prepare new patients and their families for their first visit to the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre. I am confident that our highly trained staff will help, to their utmost ability, you and your family during this difficult time in your life and that you find our state-of-the-art facilities will meet your needs.

In 1999 our organization was awarded Accreditation with the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation. This would not have been possible without the hard work and commitment of our entire team. This rating provides you, the cancer patient, and your families’ assurance that you are receiving quality care and confirms our organization’s commitment to our vision, "Together we strive to do the best for each person".

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding your treatment and care, at the Centre or at our regional programs, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please be assured that our entire team is here to help and we are pleased to answer your questions and address any of your concerns.

After reviewing the information contained within the website, should you have any suggestions or comments for improvement, please pass them on to us by email at

Clinical Trials
In addition to maintaining national cancer registries, we are constantly striving to participate in international cancer research. The Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre is part of one of the most centralized health care systems in the country. It is affiliated with the largest teaching hospital in Atlantic Canada. This provides patients and research partners of NCTRF tremendous opportunities to do excellent research. All clinical trials are reviewed by an ethics committee which keeps the interest of the patient as its central focus. As a result, patients on clinical trials receive at no cost, access to new drugs and experimental treatment programs.

What is a clinical trial?
A clinical trial is a branch of cancer research that evaluates new treatments. Each trial is designed to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to treat cancer patients. The most common clinical trial (Phase III) compares an experimental (new) treatment with the standard. Patients who enter a trial are randomly selected and have a 50% chance of receiving either the standard or experimental treatment. Other trials are designed to offer new treatments to patients whom no standard therapies are available. The results of a trial may determine how different types of cancer will be treated in the future.

After you enter a clinical trial can you change your mind?
Yes. Just as a patient can refuse to join a trial, he or she may have the trial discontinued at any time. The patient's withdrawal from a trial will not affect future care.

Who is eligible for a clinical trial?
Many factors determine whether a person can enter a clinical trial:

The type of cancer and how advanced it is,
The patient's age and general condition,
Other medical problems, and
The type of previous treatment.

Upon review of the patient's condition, the cancer specialist discusses treatment choices with the patient, whether it be standard care or a clinical trial.

What is it like to be in a clinical trial?
Patients in clinical trials are treated no differently than other patients. They receive their care in the same place and from the same staff as patients who are not in a clinical trial. Like other patients, they are monitored carefully and followed up after the clinical trial is completed. Usually, there are no extra tests for patients involved in clinical trials. Clinical trial staff are specially trained to monitor and collect information related to the patient's response to treatment. Confidentiality of all patient information is protected.

What are the benefits of taking part in a clinical trial?
Clinical trials are important for acquiring new knowledge about cancer treatments. Patients take part in clinical trials for the following reasons:

To help find a cure for their disease, live longer and have an improved quality of life,
A chance to receive a new and promising treatment,
To help other people by gaining information about new treatments for cancer,
To gain a sense of well being and more control over their lives.

Who pays for clinical trials?
Most clinical trials are financed by agencies such as the National Cancer Institute of Canada and pharmaceutical companies. There are no additional costs to patients who are on clinical trials.

Are clinical trials safe?
Clinical trials are conducted under very strict guidelines. The Federal Government must approve the testing of any new treatment before it is used. Also each trial must be approved by the local Research Ethics Committee to ensure patients are not put at undue risk. Throughout the trial, the safety of the patient is monitored on an on going basis. If it becomes clear that a treatment is not in the patient's best interest, he or she will be taken off the trial and other treatment options offered.

What are other important questions to ask about clinical trials?
What is the purpose of the trial?
What does the trial involve?
What type of tests and treatment will I have?
What are the treatment choices, advantages and disadvantages?
What side effects are to be expected?
How long will the trial last?
What type of long-term follow-up care is required?

What clinical trials are conducted at the NCTRF?
The Newfoundland Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation is involved in a number of local, national and international trials for most major types of cancer. Many of these trials are also offered in other parts of Canada, the USA and the world.

For more information about clinical trials speak with your doctor or contact:

Clinical Trials Department
Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre
Level II - (709) 777-7557
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