The JCC held a special Regional Oncology Rounds recently to celebrate a 40-year career in cancer clinical trials. The JCC lecture theatre was filled to standing-room only with colleagues, staff, and residents on hand to celebrate the career of retiring medical oncologist and researcher, Dr. Andrew Arnold. Dr. Arnold’s presentation entitled, Retirement Rounds: It Doesn’t Always Go the Way You Expect! was a light-hearted reflection on his career as a clinician and cancer clinical trials researcher. A pioneer in cancer clinical trials, Dr. Arnold shared stories and anecdotes about the formative years of cancer clinical trials in Canada, as well as a few lessons learned along the way.
Dr. Arnold’s early research focused on etoposide including published articles in Lancet and Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology — the first articles to be published on the subject. This was during the late 70s during his time at the University of Southampton, Southampton, England.
In 1982, Dr. Arnold emigrated to Canada to serve as the first medical oncologist in Newfoundland. Two years later, he was recruited to Hamilton. He developed the Medical Oncology Residency program and joined Dr. Mark Levine in the breast cancer clinic where he contributed to research that led to practice-changing adjuvant therapies. In the mid-80s Dr. Arnold aimed his focus on cancer prevention and became the medical director of the newly formed Cancer Information Service. In 1992 the team moved into the present building, and Dr. Arnold became Head of Medical Oncology. Around the same time, he was co-PI on the JCC’s first Phase I trial which was also Roche’s first phase I cancer trial. This study was jointly-conducted with MD Anderson, Texas and Charing X Hospital, UK. Later, he led JCCs participation in the Phase III trial of trastuzumab (Herceptin) in patients with metastatic breast cancer. Hamilton was the third largest contributor of patients to this ground-breaking study.
In addition to his clinical trials research, Dr. Arnold has served as Head of the JCC Clinical Trials Department, a Scientist at the Escarpment Cancer Research Institute, and Chair, Ontario Leadership Council, Canadian Cancer Trials Network.
Dr. Arnold will retire at the end of June and will proudly become a Professor Emeritus, Department of Oncology, McMaster University.