The Fight Against Cancer: Increased Access to Clinical Trials Across Quebec - Investment of $1,250,000 into the Newly Created Province-wide Quebec Clinical Research Organization in Cancer

    Investment Partnership: Pfizer Canada Joins Forces with the Q-CROC and

    MONTREAL, May 14 /CNW Telbec/ - On the first day of the National
Conference to Defeat Cancer, Pfizer Canada is announcing a $1,250,000
investment into the Quebec - Clinical Research Organization in Cancer
(Q-CROC). This investment, made in partnership with the Fonds de la recherche
en santé du Québec (FRSQ) and its Cancer Research Network, will lay the
groundwork for a province-wide consortium on clinical research in oncology.
For over 91,000 Quebeckers diagnosed with cancer,(1) this will mean increased
access to cancer clinical trials, which, in the opinion of experts, is an
underutilized therapeutic option. The Q-CROC has brought together some 100
experts from hospitals and research centres affiliated with the four
universities that have a medical school, namely McGill University, Laval
University, the Université de Sherbrooke and the Université de Montréal.
    The Q-CROC represents a concrete response to the concerted research
approach called for by the Etats généraux sur le cancer, organized in 2007 by
the Coalition Priorité Cancer au Québec. The need for joint action was also
echoed by researchers, the medical community and industry. Cancer is the main
cause of death in Quebec. In 2009, nearly 20,100 Quebec citizens will die of
cancer while another 44,200 will be diagnosed with the disease. According to
available data, one in three Quebec citizens will develop cancer in his or her
    "This clinical research infrastructure in oncology will facilitate the
development of new therapies to help cancer patients," said Raymond Bachand,
Minister of Finance and Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and
Export Trade. "It is an innovative partnership between Pfizer Canada, the
Q-CROC and FRSQ," he further elaborated, "that is in keeping with the policies
and guidelines enunciated in the Stratégie québécoise de la recherche et de
    "In Quebec, as elsewhere in the country, Pfizer is looking to promote
collaborative projects that support innovation in conjunction with the
scientific community, governments, patients and industry. Support of the new
consortium is a cogent example because it serves as a rallying point for our
best and brightest researchers and offers people with cancer improved access
to clinical trials, thereby paving the way to more treatment options for
patients. This is crucial to the development of therapeutic solutions that
adopt an increasingly targeted and personalized approach to fighting cancer,"
stated Paul Lévesque, President of Pfizer Canada.
    "Cancer research is an FRSQ priority. The clinical infrastructure of
Q-CROC will give clinical investigators medical community an organizational
platform that will ultimately benefit patients in Quebec by facilitating their
participation in clinical trials. This initiative, together with the
activities of the Cancer Research Network, illustrates the vitality of the
research community in this province," emphasized Yves Joanette, President and
Chief Executive Officer of the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec.

    Q-CROC tackles one of the fundamental cancer problems

    Q-CROC tackles one of the fundamental problems plaguing clinical cancer
research: access to clinical trials for cancer patients from the province's
many regions.
    In the words of Drs. Gerald Batist and Luc Bélanger, co-directors of the
Q-CROC: "Implementation of the new infrastructure will enable patients to gain
improved access to clinical trials through the availability of therapies that
otherwise are inaccessible. Moreover, the infrastructure will lighten the
workload of medical staff involved in these trials. Pfizer's investment is a
first step in the start-up of clinical activities of Q-CROC, which hopes to
develop a provincial network of collaborators coming from the majority of
research centres and hospitals in Quebec."

    About the FRSQ

    The mission of the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec, which
reports to the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade,
is to support health research to foster the wellness of Quebec's population.
Its mandate is to promote and financially support this research, to share
knowledge and train researchers, as well as to establish partnerships
necessary for the development of Quebec's research and innovation system and
advance the research internationally. The FRSQ supports the activities of 11
groups, 19 centres and 18 thematic research networks, including the Cancer
Research Network. For more information, visit

    About Pfizer Canada Inc.

    Pfizer Canada is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., the world's
leading pharmaceutical company. Pfizer discovers, develops, manufactures and
markets prescription medicines for humans and animals. Pfizer Canada is a
leader in Canadian healthcare research, investing more than $137 million in
research and development activities, contributions and partnerships in 2007.
The company has invested more than $1 billion in R&D since 2000. Pfizer
Canada's commitment to helping Canadians live happier, healthier and longer
lives extends beyond medication. To learn more about Pfizer Canada's More than
Medication philosophy and programs, visit

    About the Quebec - Clinical Research Organization in Cancer (Q-CROC)

    Q-CROC is a multidisciplinary group of researchers, clinicians and
healthcare providers (oncologists, surgeons, pathologists, research nurses,
etc.) whose mission is to improve the delivery of health services to cancer
patients. Its objectives are to develop a platform for clinical and
translational research conducted in Quebec that will mean more therapeutic
options for patients, while reducing or potentially avoiding resistance to
treatment, to increase patient awareness of clinical trials, and to develop
cooperation between partners whose common goal is to fight cancer more

    Photo of news conference and photo caption will be available at 2:00 p.m.
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    (1) 2005 Statistics - Institut de la santé du Québec, compilation,
        Janvier 2009, numéro 17 :

    (2) Canadian Cancer Society Web Site:
        <a href=""></a>
        <a href="">releases/qc-quebec%20media%20releases/qc_statistiquescanadiennessurle</a>
        <a href="">cancer.aspx?sc_lang=enfr-ca</a>

For further information:

For further information: Sylvie Robitaille, (514) 843-3308, Cell: (514)

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Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé

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