Clinical Trials at RVH

A clinical trial is any investigation in human subjects intended to discover or verify the clinical, pharmacological, and/or other pharmacodynamic effects of investigational products, and/or to identify any adverse reactions, study absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of the investigational products with the objective of ascertaining its safety and/or efficacy.

The scale of a clinical trial can vary greatly, from a single site with one investigator to hundreds of sites globally, each with their own local investigators. A single trial can take years to complete and relies on collaboration between participants and investigators.

All clinical trials that are conducted at RVH are reviewed and approved by the RVH Research Ethics Board or a Clinical Trials Ontario (CTO)-qualified research ethics board.

Clinical trials involving human participants are characterized by different phases, all of which are strictly regulated and require approval from a research ethics board. Clinical trial phases are classified as follows:

  • Phase 0 (Preclinical) – Testing in non-human subjects, often in a laboratory environment. RVH does not participate in this type of clinical trial
  • Phase I – Testing performed to evaluate safety in a small group of healthy volunteers or people with a specific disease (e.g., 20-100 participants). RVH does not participate in this type of clinical trial
  • Phase II – Testing performed to assess efficacy and side effects in a larger group of patients with a specific disease (e.g., 100-300 participants). RVH sometimes participates in this type of clinical trial
  • Phase III – Randomized control trial where treatment is tested blindly against a placebo or control group to assess efficacy, effectiveness, and safety in a large cohort of patients with a specific disease (e.g., 300-3000 participants). RVH commonly participates in this type of clinical trial
  • Phase IV – Clinical research that is conducted after a drug, device, or other intervention has been approved. RVH sometimes participates in this type of clinical trial

For more information about Clinic Trials and Drug Safety, please visit the following Government of Canada Information Page.

If you are have any questions about clinical trials at RVH, or think you may be eligible to participate in an ongoing trial, please contact the Clinical Trials Department or speak to your physician:

Clinical Trials Office
Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Program, Room 3C095
201 Georgian Drive
Barrie, Ontario, L4M 6M2
705-728-9090 Ext. 66228

Ask Me Campaign

Participating in clinical trials can provide patients with access to promising new treatments and empower participants to take an active role in their healthcare. But, did you know less than two per cent of patients participate in clinical trials? This is largely because patients are often unaware of their eligibility to participate in clinical research or may refrain from considering their participation due to misconceptions about possible risks.

To help raise awareness and encourage discussions about clinical trials between patients and their doctors, RVH continues to participate in the Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network’s (3CTNs) “Ask Me Campaign”.

Over the past year, RVH employees and professional staff at the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Program (SMRCP) have worn blue “Ask Me About Clinical Trials” buttons as a symbol of our participation in the program. Happy to answer anyone’s questions about clinical trials, staff and physicians wearing the buttons believe the program is working, with more patients being informed about how clinical trials could impact their choice of treatment options.

Sujata Pokhrel, a Clinical Research Associate with RVH’s Clinical Trials Team, is leading the program at RVH and understands the importance of this initiative: “We have seen an increase in cancer patients here at the cancer program over the years. We hope this campaign can provide them with more information and empower them in the decisions they make over their treatment journey”.