The Ontario Cancer Research Network, now the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, in collaboration with Cancer Care Ontario and local Research Ethics Boards in Ontario introduced the Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board in December 2003 to facilitate scientific and ethical review of multi-centre oncology trials.
The Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board (OCREB) flows from an extensive provincial consultation process involving: REB chairs, regional cancer centres, host hospitals, investigators, bioethicists, research ethics coordinators and collaborating organizations such as Cancer Care Ontario, the National Council for Ethics in Human Research, the Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Several key issues were identified during this consultation process.
Through the provincial consultation process, investigators and REBs identified several opportunities to streamline processes and enhance review efforts, centred on the development of a provincial Research Ethics Board.
The primary goals of the Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board are to:
- To protect the safety and rights of the human research subjects at the highest quality of ethical review;
- To reduce the workload and duplication associated with reviews of the same study by multiple research ethics boards;
- To simplify and accelerate the initiation of multi-centre oncology trials in Ontario.
What types of cancer research can be submitted to OCREB?
OCREB's current mandate is restricted to multi-centre* oncology clinical trials*.
For the purposes of its current mandate, "multi-centre" is defined as more than one participating Ontario centre, and "clinical trial" is defined as any research that prospectively assigns human participants to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes. Interventions are restricted to drugs and other biological products, surgical procedures, radiological procedures and devices.