2014 Recipients

In 2014-15, the Rossy Cancer Network will fund $535,000 in Research Grants, enabling the completion of 5 projects. The grants will focus on improving the quality of care and quality of life for patients with prostate, gynecological, kidney and oesaphago-gastric cancers, while also evaluating tools to improve patient care in psychosocial oncology.

The Rossy Cancer Network is proud to announce the 2014 recipients of its Research Grants (in alphabetical order, by principal investigator):


Kidney Cancer

Improving the Quality of Care to Kidney Cancer Patients Undergoing Nephrectomy: Introduction of an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Program

Despite improvements in surgical technique and anesthesia, about one out of four patients will experience a complication after surgery for kidney cancer. In some rare cases, these will include life-threatening thrombo-embolism, bleeding, or sepsis. Studies have shown that by implementing a modified care pathway before, during and after surgery, the complication rate can be effectively decreased. By adapting this care pathway to patients undergoing kidney surgery, this project aims to reduce the length of hospital stays and to improve patient outcomes and quality of life.

Project Team: Urologist Dr. Franck Bladou will lead a team which includes Dr. Maurice Anidjar, Dr. Wassim Kassouf, Dr. Simon Tanguay, as well as Dr. Yannick Cerantola.


Prostate Cancer

Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer: Evaluation of the Quality of Care, Disease Management, and Associated Costs in a Real Life Setting

In recent years, new treatment options for castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) have increased the complexity and cost of CRPC management. This study will examine areas in which the quality of care is inappropriate with respect to Canadian clinical practice guidelines and other indicators, allowing for the development of new interventions to improve the quality of care for these patients. The study will also look at the how increased socio-economic inequities with regards to access to cancer drugs have impacted the quality of care and the survival of the CRPC population.

Project Team: Scientist Dr. Alice Dragomir will lead a team which includes Dr. Franck Bladou, Dr. Fabio Cury, Ms. Olga Guerra, RN, Dr. Wassim Kassouf, and Dr. Mary Vanhuyse.


Psychosocial Oncology

Looking Forward: The Impact of a Supportive Re-entry Program Tailored by and for Patients Completing Cancer Treatment

Cancer patients experience significant psychological distress when nearing the completion of their treatment. This project will consider patient and professional perspectives on appropriate interventions that would help smooth the transition, improving preparation for life after active treatment, decreasing cancer-related distress, and improving the overall patient experience. Patients and clinical staff will co-design and evaluate an intervention which may consist of an information session, a booklet or a DVD.

Project Team: Clinical psychologist Ms. Rosana Faria will lead a team which includes Ms. Manon Allard, RN, Dr. Marc David, Dr. Sergio Faria, Ms. Lisa Kathryn Goldenberg, Dr. Jeannie Haggerty, Dr. Tarek Hijal, Dr. George Michaels, and Mr. Marc Pineault.


Oesophago-gastric Cancer

Streamlining the Trajectory for Oesophago-gastric Patients with Cancer: The STOP-Cancer Initiative

For patients diagnosed with oesophageal and gastric cancer, the long delay from initial diagnosis to definitive treatment impacts not only quality of life and patient anxiety, but may also have a profound impact on survival. Given the overall poor prognosis, timely access to treatment is crucial. It has been shown that streamlining the post-operative care of these patients using clear, multidisciplinary clinical pathways improves outcomes and efficiency. This project will assess if the same streamlining process can be applied to investigation and pre-surgical treatment with similar benefits to patients.

Project Team: Surgeon Dr. Lorenzo Ferri will lead a team which includes Dr. Thierry Alcindor, Dr. Gad Friedman, Dr. Gaetano Morelli, and Dr. Kevin Waschke.


Gynecological Cancer

Effect of Early Compression Therapy on Incidence of Lymphedema in Patients Treated for Gynecological Cancer

Lymphedema is an irreversible health condition and one of the most debilitating consequences of cancer treatment. Currently, there exist no guidelines on the prevention of lower limb lymphedema in gynecological cancer patients treated with surgical lymph node dissection. Improving our understanding of the value of early compression therapy will contribute to developing postoperative guidelines for this population. This pilot study will also allow us to prepare for future randomized controlled trials in this field.

Project Team: Physiotherapist Ms. Shirin Shallwani will lead a team which includes Dr. Lucy Gilbert, Dr. Walter Gotlieb, Ms. Pamela Hodgson, Ms. Lisa Kham, Ms. Sarah Khan, Dr. Anna Towers, Dr. Sharon Salvador, and Ms. Angela Yung, supported by their collaborators Ms. Rachel Pritzker, Ms. Judith Soicher, and Ms. Jadranka Spahija.


Breast Cancer

Women’s Experience with Breast Cancer

Despite the myriad resources for breast cancer patients, there are very few places where these patients can listen to and read about the experiences and choices of other patients. Inspired by an award-winning initiative from the UK, this project will use video and text to document the experiences of breast cancer survivors. The results will be posted on a new Canadian website (www.healthexperiences.ca) as a resource for patients. They will also be used as feedback in discussions with doctors, nurses and teachers to identify how to improve the way care is delivered.

Project Team: Oncologist Dr. Donna Stern will lead a team which includes Dr. Tarek Hijal, Dr. Neil Kopek, Dr. Susan Law, and Ms. Ilja Ormel.


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