Patients & Families
Patients and Families

The Atlantic Clinical Cancer Research Unit (ACCRU)

Clinical trials for most cancers are coordinated and activated through the Atlantic Clinical Cancer Research Unit (ACCRU). ACCRU is the result of a re-focusing of the previous oncology clinical trials unit which had been in operation since 1995. The unit is responsible for organizing clinical trial activities in cancer, and works in partnership with Dalhousie University, the Capital District Health Authority, Cancer Care Nova Scotia and the QEII Cancer Care Program. It is also a founding member of the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute.

The missions of the unit are to:

•provide state of the art treatment options for all patients with cancer in Atlantic Canada, across all types of cancer, in the form of participation in clinical trials

•maximize patient participation in clinical trials, thereby contributing to the evolution of new standards of care and treatment options nationally and internationally

•provide a safe, compassionate and thorough clinical care and trial management environment for all patients entering trials and in follow-up

On average, ACCRU coordinates 25-35 clinical trials at any one time and is responsible for the care of approximately 100-150 new patients per year, with a further 300-400 patients receiving continuing follow-up care and/or monitoring following trial completion.

ACCRU works in collaboration with a number of international cancer research groups including the National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC), the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), the Breast Cancer International Research Group (BCIRG) and the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG), among others.

ACCRU also works collaboratively with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) and will be maintaining the Nova Scotian component of the national clinical trial database.


Director: Daniel Rayson MD FRCP(C)
Research Manager: Sharon Hebb RN, HRA
Clinical Research Associate Team Lead: Heather Gage RN
Clinical Research Associates: Heather Beaton RN, Kara Bursey RN, Kendra Dill RN, Erin Little RN, Angela MacDonald RN, Lorrie Yunace RN
Data Managers: Tanya Bell, Susan Burbridge, Lynn Hubley, Kathy MacIsaac, Kim Pitts RN, Connie Zinck
Financial Coordinator: Jennifer MacVicar, BComm
Administrative Coordinator: Joan Nieforth
Research Secretary: Stephanie Khoury
Administrative Assistant: Patricia Falconer