The Tom Baker Cancer Centre Clinical Trials Unit is dedicated to supporting the ongoing quest for more effective treatments for cancer patients through the conduct of cancer clinical trials. Its active clinical trials program meets the needs of patients to have access to the latest treatment innovations and contributes to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre’s standing as a centre of excellence in cancer care and research.

The Tom Baker Cancer Centre (TBCC) Clinical Research Unit (CRU) is led by Dr. Daniel Heng (Medical Director) and Ms. Rosemarie Farrell (CTU Manager) and consists of 50 staff members (research nurses, clinical research coordinators and research assistants). Funding for CRU core operations was made possible through a partnership between the Alberta Cancer Foundation and CancerControl Alberta. 

The core operations staff includes the operational manager, an assistant unit manager, audit and regulatory coordinator, grant administrator, administrative assistant, two research assistants, as well as 13 research nurses and 23 clinical trial coordinators to support co-operative trial activities. Clinical trials services are available at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre and at the Holy Cross site.

TBCC oncologists work in close partnership with the CRU to offer 100-125 clinical trials available for patient enrolment. Since operating as an organized unit, the CRU has put more than 6700 patients on clinical trials. The CRU staff has an exemplary track record for conducting industry-sponsored, co-operative group and investigator-initiated clinical trials in all phases, including Phase I. 

CTU Medical Director
Dr. Daniel Heng, MD, MPH, FRCPC 

Dr. Heng is a Staff Medical Oncologist at the Tom Baker Cancer Center in Calgary, Alberta and a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Calgary. He received his MD from the University of Calgary and completed his internal medicine and medical oncology residencies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C. He was trained at the B.C. Cancer Agency in Vancouver, Canada and then completed an Experimental Therapeutics fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute. He received a Masters of Public Health from Harvard University. He is Chair of the International mRCC Database Consortium [IMDC], which has created and validated the IMDC criteria [a.k.a. Heng Criteria] for prognostication in metastatic renal cell carcinoma patients. He is also the Medical Leader for the Clinical Research Unit at the Tom Baker Cancer Center. He has a keen interest in outcomes, prognostic factors and clinical trials research in metastatic renal cell carcinoma and other genitourinary malignancies. Dr. Heng has been involved in many oncology clinical trials from investigator, steering committee and study chair levels. He encourages patients and investigators to always “Think Trials”.