NRG Oncology Announces New Leadership of Canadian Members Subcommittee

February 27 2024

NRG Oncology, a National Cancer Institute (NCI) National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) group focused on improving outcomes for adults with cancer through multi-center clinical research, recently announced a new Chair and Vice Chair of the organization’s Canadian Members Subcommittee.

The NRG Canadian Members Subcommittee is tasked with engaging and supporting NRG’s Canadian member institutions through their participation in NRG research. This subcommittee was created to tackle the unique regulatory, administrative, and other accrual barriers faced through international participation in NRG research, specifically in Canada.

Allan Covens, MD, was appointed Chair of the NRG Canadian Members Subcommittee after previously serving as the subcommittee’s Vice Chair since the subcommittee’s inception. He is a professor and Chair of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Toronto as well as the Head of Gynecologic Oncology at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Covens has held numerous positions within NCI National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) and National Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) committees and trials. Specifically for NRG Oncology, Dr. Covens currently is the Chair of the NRG Rare Tumor Subcommittee, a member of the NRG Gynecologic Cancer Committee and the NRG Cervix/Vulva Cancer Subcommittee, and is a senior Liaison for gynecologic rare tumors on the Early Career New Investigators Committee where he aligns current young investigators to appropriate opportunities within the organization. Dr. Covens is the Principal Investigator of the currently active and accruing AGCT1531 clinical study within the Children’s Oncology Group and NRG Oncology for treating pediatric and adult patients with germ cell tumors. He was also the Principal Investigator of the GOG 0278 clinical study of physical function and quality of life before and after non-radical surgical therapy for early-stage cervical cancer that closed to accrual in October 2021. He currently acts as Co-Chair of the newly created GOG Partners Canadian Division and is the Chair of the Examination Committee for the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS). He is actively engaged in numerous professional associations, is currently on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Gynecologic Cancer, is an ad hoc reviewer for multiple journals, and is involved in both national and international committees in various levels.

Christina Tsien, MD, is the incoming Vice Chair of the NRG Canadian Members Subcommittee. She is a Professor and the Michael Rosenbloom Chair of Radiation Oncology at McGill University, where she also serves as the Director of Research in the Division of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Tsien is involved in NRG Oncology in a number of capacities, including serving as a Core Member of the NRG Brain Tumor Committee and Brain Tumor Liaison on the NRG Radiation Oncology Committee. She has served as Principal Investigator for several NRG and NRG-affiliated clinical studies. Most recently, she published the results as principal investigator of the NRG Oncology RTOG 1205 clinical trial for bevacizumab and re-irradiation in recurrent glioblastoma. Dr. Tsien has held a number of leadership roles in leading Oncology Organizations including ASCO, ASTRO and RSNA. In addition, she serves on editorial boards and her research focuses on molecular imaging biomarkers during cancer therapy to distinguish progression from treatment-related effects.

NRG Oncology extends its warmest regards to outgoing Subcommittee Chair, Dr. Jean-Paul Bahary at the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal who, like Dr. Covens, has been actively involved in Canadian relations with NRG since inception. NRG is grateful for the unmeasured guidance and leadership Dr. Bahary has provided in his tenure. NRG looks forward to the contributions that will come from this subcommittee under its new direction.

About NRG Oncology

NRG Oncology conducts practice-changing, multi-institutional clinical and translational research to improve the lives of patients with cancer. Founded in 2012, NRG Oncology is a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit corporation that integrates the research of the legacy National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), and Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) programs. The research network seeks to carry out clinical trials with emphases on gender-specific malignancies, including gynecologic, breast, and prostate cancers, and on localized or locally advanced cancers of all types. NRG Oncology’s extensive research organization comprises multidisciplinary investigators, including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, physicists, pathologists, and statisticians, and encompasses more than 1,300 research sites located world-wide with predominance in the United States and Canada. NRG Oncology is supported primarily through grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and is one of five research groups in the NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network.

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