Letters & Correspondance

Correspondance with Cancer Care Ontario and related officials highlighting some of the issues surrounding PET access in Ontario.

  • To: CCO Executive, CCO Board Chair, and Chairs of CCO Committees

    May 2018
    Re: Letter sent to all CCO Committees regarding PET PREDICT TRIAL

    The PET PREDICT TRIAL on women with early stage breast cancer lead directly to motions in 2005 from CANM to declare the CCO PET Trials “unethical”. The Liberal government and their medical experts devoted special efforts to make sure that women with breast cancer and the appropriate indications for PET would not have access to one. To this day this “unethical, immoral” experiment is used to block these women from PET. This more than anything demonstrates the ‘depths’ to which the politicians and their medical experts are prepared to descend to block PET.

    Intro | Read full letter

  • To: McMaster Research Ethics Board

    May 2018
    Re: Defence of PET PREDICT Trials

    All experiments on humans, and animals must go through a strict approval process by a board dedicated to this effort. The boards also have a critical responsibility to monitor the trial to ensure it continues to meet the highest ethical standards. The board members may not be familiar with the technology being assessed They may not have known that the PET cameras were incapable of detecting the cancers the subjects were told the researchers were looking for, but it is their responsibility to make sure it is capable of performing the imaging that is being tested.

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  • To: Ms France Gelinas and Ms. Andrea Horwath, NDP

    May 2018
    Re: Compliance with Liberal efforts to block PET

    The NDP present themselves as the ‘party of the people’ but as you will see, have outright backed the Liberal’s efforts to block PET even when Howard Hampton was the leader. Most importantly, Sudbury Nickel Belt NDP MPP and NDP Health Critic knows more than any politician all of the ‘gory details’. France claims she wants to bring the dreams of a remarkable Sudbury native, Mr. Sam Bruno, who died of colon cancer to fruition. For those in Sudbury, you can decide for yourselves based on the facts whether or not France deserves the right to continue to represent those in her district or not. Ms. Horwath, above all, needs to be held accountable.

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  • To: Mr. Tony Loparco, Director SIU, Metropolitan Toronto Police

    May 2018
    Re: Ontario Doctors are forced to effectively assault their patients both physically and emotionally based on compulsory Cancer Care Ontario Guidelines

    Criminal charges were laid against Australian government officials for how they blocked PET. As Ontario physicians we are forced by Cancer Care Ontario to practice guidelines appropriate for the mid to late 1990’s. In my opinion, this forces us in a very real way to “assault our patients” both physically and emotionally. I hope I at least get a response to these serious accusations which I will pass on to everyone.

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  • To: The Honourable MPP, Mr. Glenn Thibeault

    May 2018
    Re: Position on Mobile PET for Sudbury

    Mr. Thibeault will claim he made a commitment to Sam (Sam Bruno) years ago on PET. Here are my various communications with Mr. Thibeault. He has only ever acknowledged me once. You can decide whether he is someone who deserves our trust and respect, or the archetypical example of why there is unprecedented distrust and cynicism with politicians.

    Letter 1 | Letter 2 | Letter 3

  • To: Dr. Andreas Laupacis, Chairman of the Board of Health Quality Ontario

    May 2018
    Re: Claims of using “rigorous scientific methods” to assess Health Quality Issues

    Dr. Laupacis was the President and CEO of ICES whose first report reduced the recommendation of the Independent Multidisciplinary Committee that up to 40,000 patients would benefit from a PET scan to zero. He has made clear that he does not need "science" to assess PET, just his 'BELIEF/FAITH' that his methods to evaluate imaging equipment has a role to play. He is now head of a group that will now determine how to provide "Quality" health care to Ontario patients, and "using rigorous scientific" methods. To suggest this is a 'misleading of the public' would be an understatement. I am challenging Dr. Laupacis to explain the discrepancy./p>

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  • To: Dr. Mark Levine, Director of Ontario Clinical Oncology Group

    May 2018
    Re: PET Predict trial defended

    Dr. Levine is the Director of OCOG and I wrote him in December 2016 asking OCOG to defend using Health Health Technology Assessment and whether OCOG would support CANM motion for an independent review of the “ethical basis” of the PET Trials. His response was to accuse me of being “unprofessional and harassing him.” I am now formally asking OCOG to defend their sponsorship of the PET PREDICT Trial./p>

    Read full letter | Questions

  • To: Bonnie Lysyk, Office of the Auditor General of Ontario

    May 2018
    Re: Slowness to introduce PET in Ontario

    In the Cancer Treatment section of the 2017 Auditor General Report by Ms. Lysyk, in an extraordinary move, pointed out the Ontario patients have the least number of PET scans/1,000 of ANY country offering PET. I have written Ms. Lsyk for two reasons. One is to give her the 'backstory' as to how the Liberal government and their medical 'experts' have used a politically driven agenda directed against patients, and not science, which has resulted in costly health care focused on the income expectations of some physicians. I have also pointed out in detail how the appropriate introduction of PET would result in significant savings to taxpayers./p>

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  • To: PET Steering Committee and CCO Imaging Committee

    April 2018
    Re: PET PREDICT Trial on breast cancer patients

    It was the PET PREDICT Trial on women with early-stage breast cancer that lead to the 2005 motions from the Canadian Association of Nuclear Medicine to declare the CCO PET Trials unethical. I am being threatened by CCO and make clear that my lawyer has stated they are public servants and therefore required to defend their actions in public. I will outline what we all accept as true and that I will expect them to defend the PET PREDICT trial that was declared “unethical and bordering on immoral.

    Intro | Questions

  • To: Dr. Helena Jaczek

    March 2018
    Re: Liberal support of CCO policies

    Dr. Hoskins has resigned and Dr. Jaczek is his replacement. This time I am not so naive as to think that a physician who is a Liberal Minister of Health will be concerned about patients. I take the approach that I will assume she supports to positions of Dr. Hoskins and how the Liberals are handling PET unless I hear otherwise. I have heard nothing from Dr. Jaczek.

    Read full letter

  • To: Premier Kathleen Wynne

    June 2017
    Re: Cancer patient's nightmare is a CCO success story.

    This was an emotional letter to Ms. Wynne, but I believed appropriate given the nightmare my patient was experiencing as a direct result of how her doctors were forced to investigate and treat her by the government. The patient was being ignored by CCO.

    Read full letter | Reply

  • To: Dr. Sherar, President & CEO of Cancer Care Ontario

    May 2017
    Re: Proposed meeting regarding PET in Ontario

    After the Senior Executive of Cancer Care Ontario has issued threats to take away my hospital privileges if I continue to speak to physicians and patients regarding how CCO assess PET, Dr. Sherar, President and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario suggests that I come to Toronto and meet with the CCO Senior Executive. Given that at no point does anyone say, "The threats against your privileges were a misunderstanding." it seems pretty clear they just want to get me in a room and threaten me to my face, so I decline the meeting.

    Read full letter | Read reply

  • Chairman of the Board, Cancer Care Ontario

    April 2017
    Re: Informing the Board of Directors for CCO about issues

    Mr. Ralliaram and Board members would have no reason to doubt what CCO experts were telling them. I give him some background facts and suggest that he seek out information from non-government sources. He acknowledges the letter. I then write him because my patient “Carol” is deteriorating in hopes of quicker action. There is no response further responses from the Chairman.

    Letter 1 | Letter 2 | Letter 3

  • To: Dr. Mcleod, Vice President of Clinical Programs and Quality Initiatives, CCO

    April 2017
    Re: Series of Letters with Dr. McLeod

    Dr. McLeod wrote me regarding my letters to PET ACCESS regarding my patients. Being in charge of “Quality Initiatives”, Dr. McLeod should be particularly interested in the impact on the “quality of care” that the CCO ‘Standards of Care” Ontario physicians must follow, is having on patients.

    Letter 1 | Letter 2 | Letter 3

  • To: PET Steering Committee

    April 2017
    Re: Patient 1 to PSC

    This will be the first letter from a patient who will ask very specific and well informed questions to the Committee members. It is her expectation that as physicians acting as representatives of the government and playing key roles in how PET is assessed in Ontario that you answer her questions fully and thus demonstrating that the PET Steering Committee is open, transparent and accountable.

    Read full letter

  • To: PET Access & Cancer Care Ontario

    March 2017
    Re: Sudden refusal to grant requests for patient PET scans

    I was asked to be an imaging consultant on two patients. Their PET/CT scans were not covered by OHIP so I applied to PET ACCESS. I told them that I did not agree with how they made decisions and therefore I insisted they answer the patients questions. It was this insistence they answer the patients questions that lead to the threats against me by CCO. They never acknowledge patient.

    Application | Read full letter | Reply

  • To: PET Access Program, Cancer Care Ontario

    Feb 2017
    Re: Process of Applying for PET/CT

    PET ACCESS is refusing to acknowledge my applications on behalf of patients so I outline the approach I will be taking. They had no trouble allowing me to order PET/CT scans until they realized the patients would ask them questions. They then decide I can’t order PET/CT scans.

    Letter 1 | Letter 2

  • To: Minister of Health, Dr. Eric Hoskins

    January 2017
    Re: Informed consent and justification of PET use to patient

    I remind Dr. Hoskins how proud he and Ms. Wynne are of how CCO is handling PET. I sent this letter to Dr. Hoskins on behalf of two patients I was representing to PET ACCESS, and insist that he make sure the questions they have the right to ask and have answered are responded to and answered fully. Neither Dr. Hoskins nor PET ACCESS will acknowledge or respond to patients questions.

    Read full letter

  • To: Ontario Clinical Oncology Group

    December 2016
    Re: OCOG’s role in assessing PET in Ontario

    OCOG is a CCO committee that was set up in part to discredit, delay and block PET. OCOG would be the sponsor for the PET PREDICT Trial which lead to the motions declaring trials unethical. I had unsuccessfully tried to get OCOG to reply in the past. Note, Dr. Levin’s curious but ‘telling response’ of whether he is proud of the efforts of OCOG, or worried they might have to publicly defend their actions.

    Read full letter | Read reply

  • To: Dr. Ur Metser, Chair of PET Steering Committee

    December 2016
    Re: PET Steering Committee and PET in Ontario

    Dr. Bill Evans was the first Chair, and Dr. Evans would eventually have me reprimanded by the College of Physicians and Surgeons because I asked him to defend the use of health technology assessment. I take the approach that Dr. Metser wasn’t present during the most controversial times and might take a new approach. You can decide for yourselves if he will.

    Letter 1 | Letter 2 | Letter 3

  • To: Dr. Julian Dobranowski, Provincial Head Cancer Imaging

    November 2016
    Re: Re:CCO's role in the travesty of PET in Ontario

    Dr. Dobranowski’s talk at medical meeting in 2009 lead to Dr. Al Driedger resigning from the PET Steering Committee and declaring the PET Trials “bordering on immoral”. I wrote Dr. Dobranowski asking him to defend the use of HTA and given they are all so proud, surely they would want the Ethics Review of what happened in Ontario to be carried out to justify their approach to PET.

    Read full letter | Read reply

  • To: Premier Kathleen Wynne

    July 2016
    Re: The potential impact of the “travesty of PET’ on the Ontario Liberal Party

    I wrote Ms. Wynne taking the approach that I agreed with many of her concerns about how healthcare is delivered in Ontario and offered to work behind the scenes to confront some of the powerful physicians groups wanting the status quo. I also make her fully aware of the consequences of her potentially having to defend what the Liberals have done to women with breast cancer. She ignores me.

    Read full letter | Email chain

  • To: Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario Minister of Health

    May 2015
    Re: PET in Ontario, changing Liberal policies working against cancer patients

    Dr. Hoskins asked me to write him about my concerns about PET. Although required by Provincial Law to have someone from his office acknowledge my letter and send some sort of reply, he will refuse to do so. He was presented this letter by the NDP Health Critic, and I complained to the Attorney General who dismissed me, as well as the Ontario Ombudsman and finally Ms. Wynne before he responded. He will insult my professionalism and intelligence.

    Read full letter | Reply