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Joseph L. Pater, OC, MD, MSc, FRCP(C)

Canadian Cancer Trials Group Senior Investigator

A graduate of Georgetown University, Dr. Pater received his MD from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and completed specialty training in hematology and oncology. In addition, he obtained an MSc in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics from McMaster University.

Dr. Pater was Director of CCTG (formerly NCIC Clinical Trials Group) from 1980 to 2007, where he took an active part in the development, execution and analysis of over 100 cooperative cancer trials. He was Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (now Public Health Sciences) from 1987 to 2000. He held the Edith Eisenhauer Chair in Clinical Cancer Research at Queen’s University from 2000 to 2007. Dr Pater has served on numerous research advisory bodies and selection committees in Ontario, in Canada and internationally, particularly in the United Kingdom.

On his retirement from Canadian Cancer Trials Group, Dr. Pater assumed the position of Emeritus Professor at Queen’s and subsequently completed a three-year term at Cancer Care Ontario as the Vice-President of Clinical and Translational Research. In the Fall of 2013, he returned to the CCTG on a part time basis as a Senior Investigator.

Dr. Pater is the chair of the Protocol Committee and member of the Management Committee for the Canadian Cancer Trials Network. He is a member of the PDQ Adult Treatment Board of the US National Cancer Institute. He serves on the International Registration Review Committee for the UKCRC Registered Clinical Trials Unit Program and on the International Advisory Committee to the Leeds Clinical Trials Research Unit. Dr Pater has recently been appointed to the Order of Canada.

Areas of expertise: Trial Methodology, Quality of Life, Lung and Breast Cancers

Research interests: Clinical research methods; data-sharing

Selected Publications:

Rapp E, Pater J, Willan A et al. Chemotherapy can prolong survival in patients with advanced non- small-cell lung cancer -- report of a Canadian multicenter randomized trial. J Clin Oncol 6(4): 633-41, 1988.  

Jaakkimainen L, Goodwin P, Pater J et al. Counting the costs of chemotherapy in a National Cancer Institute of Canada randomized trial in non-small cell lung cancer. J Clin Oncol 8(8): 1301-9, 1990.  

Osoba D, Rodrigues G, Myles J, Zee B, PaterJ. Interpreting the significance of changes in health-related quality of life scores. J Clin Oncol 1998; 16 (1): 139-144.

O'Sullivan B, Davis A, Turcotte R, Bell R et al. Pre-operative versus postoperative radiotherapy in soft tissue sarcoma of the limbs: a randomised trial. Lancet 359(9325): 2235-41, 2002.

Goss PE, Ingle JN, Martino S et al. A randomized trial of letrozole in postmenopausal women after five years of tamoxifen therapy for early-stage breast cancer. N Engl J Med 349(19):1793-1802, 2003.

For a full list of publications please visit PubMed.


  • Award of Excellence in Medicine and Health. Canadian Cancer Society. June 2000
  • O. Harold Warwick Prize for Cancer Control Research. National Cancer Institute of Canada. June 2001 
  • Prize for Excellence in Research.  Queen’s University. October 2004
  • R.M. Taylor Award & Medal. National Cancer Institute of Canada/Canadian Cancer Society. October 2006
  • National Cancer Institute of Canada Diamond Jubilee Award. November 2007
  • Award for Outstanding Achievements in Cancer Research. Canadian Cancer Research Alliance. November 2015