CCTG is very pleased to announce that Dr. Tim Whelan is the 2020 recipient of the CCTG Founder's Award - Dr. Joseph Pater Excellence in Clinical Trials Research.
This award honours an investigator whose leadership and body of work has contributed to significant advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of cancer. This individual's research has provided techniques, information or concepts that will direct the future of the oncology research community and CCTG.
“I am truly honored to receive this award. Over the last 25 years, CCTG has made a made a major contribution to the treatment of women with breast cancer and it has been a tremendous opportunity to be part of that endeavor," says Dr. Whelan.
Dr. Whelan obtained his medical degree from the University of Oxford. After training in radiation oncology at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, he completed a Master’s degree in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University. He joined the staff at Juravinski Cancer Centre in 1993 and is currently Professor and Associate Chair of Research in the Department of Oncology at McMaster University. He was co-Chair of CCTG's Breast Disease Site Committee from 1996 to 2018.
Dr. Whelan’s research has focused on health services research and clinical trials in radiation oncology. Throughout his career, he has focused on conducting rigorous clinical trials to test new treatment strategies and technologies to guide the local treatment of breast cancer. He led one of the first trials comparing a short hypofractionated 3-week regimen of radiation compared to the then conventional 5-week treatment for local breast irradiation after breast conserving surgery. The shorter regimen was shown to be equally effective with no increased toxicity and has been widely used across Canada. He also led the CCTG MA.20 trial, which showed that the addition of regional nodal irradiation to whole breast irradiation after breast conserving surgery reduced the risk of breast cancer recurrence, both locally and distantly, leading to the wide adoption of this approach for women with node-positive breast cancer.
In recent years, Dr. Whelan has extended his research to evaluate the ability of biomarkers to predict the risk of local recurrence and effectiveness of radiation in early breast cancer. He has established a network of investigators across Canada and trained a number of radiation oncologists interested in studying the optimal treatment of women with breast cancer.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Whelan on this well-deserved recognition.
For more information on the CCTG Awards and the 2020 honorees, please visit
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