The Canadian Conference on Ovarian Cancer Research (CCOCR) is a bi-annual conference where ovarian cancer researchers exchange knowledge and further connections.

A letter from Dr. Barbara Vanderhyden, Ph.D.

“The Corinne Boyer Chair in Ovarian Cancer Research was established to ensure the dedication of the holder of that position to ovarian cancer research. When I accepted the inaugural Chair, I brought with me the strong philosophy of multidisciplinarity of the cancer program in Ottawa, and its focus on translational research. My highest priority was the development of multidisciplinary networks that would enable the rapid transition of discoveries in basic science into clinical applications. After some consideration and with much trepidation, I decided that a national conference of all ovarian cancer researchers could best address that goal.

On November 27, 2001, I sent an email message to everyone in my email contacts list that had an interest in ovarian cancer research – 20 people in all. When asked if anyone would be interested in a meeting on ovarian cancer research, the response was overwhelming and fast. Within 24 hours, almost everyone had replied with words like “very timely”, “excellent idea”, “this is needed”, “do it!”. Thankfully, many replies came with offers to help, and those individuals plus a few others became the organizing committee of the first Canadian Conference on Ovarian Cancer Research, held on May 26-28, 2002 in Ottawa.

Fifty-one physicians and scientists met with the objectives to assess the current limitations of treatment and care for ovarian cancer patients and to identify strengths and weaknesses and thereby prioritize areas of research that required particularly concerted effort. A satellite meeting of all ovarian cancer tissue bankers in Canada was held to establish the framework for a national ovarian tissue bank. The conference ended with unanimous agreement that this meeting should be held every two years, and so it was – in Ottawa in 2004, in Vancouver in 2006, then Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City, Victoria, Niagara Falls, Edmonton and now returning home to Ottawa in 2020, each meeting reflecting the culture of the local host research community.

The ovarian cancer research community in Canada is incredibly creative, enthusiastic and collaborative. As such, this meeting continues to be a dynamic forum for all physicians, scientists and trainees in Canada who have an active program in any aspect of ovarian cancer research, including basic, translational, clinical, epidemiologic and psycho-social studies. The conference allows participants to exchange ideas and current concepts and research on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer. It has been tremendously rewarding to watch the development and outcomes of several collaborative and national research initiatives. May this conference continue to bring you many opportunities for collaboration and success!”

Dr. Barbara Vanderhyden, Ph.D.
Corinne Boyer Chair in Ovarian Cancer Research
Professor, Dept. of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa
Senior Scientist, Centre for Cancer Therapeutics, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

CCOCR logo

About the logo

From its inception in 2002, the Canadian Conference on Ovarian Cancer Research has evolved from a meeting of a few dozen clinicians and scientists to the participation of over two hundred researchers and trainees involved in all aspects of ovarian cancer research. In parallel, the CCOCR logo has evolved with each meeting, reflecting the culture of the host research community.

The first and second meetings held in 2002 and 2004 displayed the logo that was created by Dr. Barbara Vanderhyden – a sunflower, representing the favourite flower of Corinne Boyer, the wife of the founder of NOCA (National Ovarian Cancer Association), its yellow color symbolizing all cancers, along with a teal ribbon around its stem, representing the color for ovarian cancer, and the second ovarian cancer support organization within Canada, Ovarian Cancer Alliance Canada (renamed Ovarian Cancer Canada (OCC) in 2002). These two advocacy groups merged in 2007 retaining the OCC designation.

The logo then evolved for the third meeting held in Vancouver in 2006 under the chairmanship of Drs. David Huntsman and Dianne Miller where the sunflower was replaced by a pink dogwood flower, the floral emblem for the province of British Columbia who was a major sponsor of the meeting. The teal ribbon was preserved around the stem to symbolize ovarian cancer.

The logo was re-invented for the Montréal meeting in 2008 by Drs. Anne-Marie Mes-Masson and Diane Provencher who added a butterfly to symbolize the ephemeral beauty and the delicate nature of those touched by ovarian cancer. This butterfly is attracted to a flower with yellow petals, preserving aspects from the original logo, along with the teal background. The wispy arc forming the butterfly’s body is the unfinished O and C of ovarian cancer, which are more clearly defined in the wings (but one has to observe closely, they are hidden, just like the disease). The butterfly symbol also tied perfectly into the theme of the conference – “On the wings of promise”. To add a cultural aspect to the logo, a panoramic shot of Montréal’s Waterfront was included in the background.

The 5th Annual meeting logo strove to preserve many aspects from the previous meeting, where the purple butterfly still rests on the yellow flower within a teal/purple background. The purple color, official colour of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology of Canada (GOC), symbolizes the strong partnership of this meeting with that organization. A panoramic shot of the recently renovated Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) was introduced providing a Toronto flavour to the logo. The theme of the conference is “Journey to discovery, prevention and cure”. As the CCOCR continues to grow, the logo will value earlier contributors by retaining elements of past meetings, but transform to reflect the continuously-evolving nature of the Canadian ovarian cancer research community.

Dr. Barbara Vanderhyden, University of Ottawa
Dr. Steven Kalloger, University of British Columbia
Dr. Anne-Marie Mes-Masson, Université de Montréal
Dr. Michelle Letarte, CCOCR 2010 Co-Chair, University of Toronto
Dr. Joan Murphy, CCOCR 2010 Co-Chair, University Health Network