Research and Clinical Trials

Research can help to fight against cancer. Grand River Hospital has a Innovation & Research (opens in new window) department that helps to plan and organize research for cancer patients. Cancer research is one of their 2019-2024 goals.

What is a clinical trial?

The Waterloo Wellington Regional Cancer Program has a clinical trials department that is found at our regional site at Grand River Regional Cancer Centre. They work with universities, government and private agencies to plan and run clinical trials to help to make cancer care better.

Clinical trials are research studies that look for new ways to prevent, find or treat cancer (Canadian Cancer Society).

All new trials are looked at closely by our clinical trials department before they are offered to you. Research into new types of cancer treatment often take many years to make sure they work and are safe.

Often, patients that are going through cancer care or treatment are asked if they would like to join. Your oncologist (cancer doctor) or oncology nurse might ask you if you want to join a clinical trial.

Clinical trials:

  • Have set rules about who can join
  • Give you the chance to have more options for treatment
  • Give you access to treatments that are not always available yet

The clinical trials department will work closely with your oncologist (cancer doctor) while you go through a trial.

Questions about clinical trials or research? Email us!

Who can join a clinical trial?

Anyone can volunteer to join a clinical trial. But clinical trials have set rules about what is needed to join.

Your oncologist and clinical trials team will help to figure out if you would be right for a certain clinical trial.


You have heard there is a new clinical trial starting at the cancer centre. One of the rules for this clinical trial is that you have to be under the age of 50 and have breast cancer. You are 52 and have lung cancer. This means that you would not qualify for the clinical trial. You can still ask your oncologist if there are other trials that would be a better fit for you.

How You Can Find a Clinical Trial

All clinical trials are listed with the Ontario Institute for Cancer ResearchClinical Trial Terms Glossary
Canadian Cancer TrialsNational Cancer Institute
Clinical Trials OntarioHealth Canada Clinical Trials Database

For more information about joining a clinical trial or starting an oncology clinical trial please contact:

Carla Girolametto Director, Innovation, Research & Clinical Trials Phone 519-749-4370 ext. 2307

For more details on clinical trials visit the Canadian Cancer Society website:

Canadian Cancer Society - Clinical Trials (opens in new window)