BC Cancer – Prince George celebrated a significant milestone in early 2024 with the opening of a new clinical trial called CIRCULATE-NORTH-AMERICA, or CRC10, which marked the first time a systemic therapy clinical trial has been offered in northern B.C. to people with cancer. Since opening CRC10 in January 2024, the team in Prince George has enrolled two patients in this study.

“This is a huge milestone for our centre and clinical trials unit,” said Roel Schlijper-Bos, Clinical Trials Unit Manager with BC Cancer – Prince George. “Centre for the North services a large geographic area and opening this systemic therapy trial in our region is the first step to increase access to novel systemic therapy for our patients in northern B.C.”

CRC10 uses a blood test to examine the presence of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), which is fragmented DNA shed from cancer cells into the bloodstream, after surgery for stage II and III colon cancer. In the trial, ctDNA detection determines if a patient receives further treatment with chemotherapy, or starts observation with close monitoring. 

“The ctDNA test will revolutionize care, allowing us to personalize treatment by picking the right option for the right patient,” said Dr. Jon Loree, a medical oncologist with BC Cancer and principal investigator in Canada of the CRC10 clinical trial. “This new blood test will help us determine whether we need to intensify treatment for patients who are likely to have their cancer return or reduce the intensity for patients with a lower risk of their cancer returning.”

CRC10 is an international clinical trial run by the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) and chaired in Canada by Dr. Loree. CRC10 was first offered in British Columbia to patients in Vancouver and expanded to Prince George through a decentralized clinical trial model. Victoria has also started enrolling patients in CRC10 as part of their clinical trials portfolio.

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