National Conference Agendas

Brain Tumour National Conference - Agendas

The preliminary program for all the 3 elements of the Brain Tumour National Conference is available at a glance is below. This information is subject to change. The final agenda will be available in September and at the Conference.

Skip ahead to the:

  1. Celebration Evening on the evening of Friday, October 19, 2018.  
  2. Toronto National Conference on Saturday, October 20, 2018.
  3. Montreal National Conference on Saturday, October 27, 2018. Note this event will be in French.

Friday, October 19, 2018 - 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm - Celebration Dinner - Toronto

You are invited to join us in an evening of gratitude! We will honour volunteers and celebrate the brain tumour community. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018 - 9:00 am - 4:30 pm - Toronto

National Conference - Register to attend in person. The plenary sessions will also be live streamed across Canada.

National Conference - Morning - Plenary Sessions
8:00am  Registration, Breakfast, Exhibitors
8:45am Opening Remarks

Personal Story of Hope - Trick or Treat

Personal story showcasing Margaret’s journey with her dad’s diagnosis, treatment, and recovery from a brain tumour followed by her own diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

Margaret Ng (diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme)


Keynote session - New Technologies and Therapeutic Strategies in Radiation Oncology for Brain Tumours

This presentation will focus on novel radiation technologies for patients with non-malignant and malignant brain tumours and how biomarker based adaptive radiation will personalize radiation delivery for patients.

Dr. Arjun Sahgal, Radiation Oncologist, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

10:10am Refreshment Break, Exhibitors 

Research Symposium Winning Teams 

In 2018, we are hosting three Research Symposiums across the country. The winning team from each symposium will be invited to present during the plenary session and the panel of judges will announce the winner of The Pam and Rolando Del Maestro Family Undergraduate Student Research Competition Award. These research symposiums provide an opportunity for students to create proposals, practice presentation skills and receive constructive feedback from a panel that includes physicians and researchers. 


A Patient is Person 

When her brain tumour exploded, Judith John, a communications executive at SickKids, began to see the health care system from the perspective of a patient. She has become a passionate advocate to help improve the patient experience in a network of caregivers who dedicate their professional expertise to saving lives but forget the humane care of their patients. Now she lives with an inoperable non-malignant brain tumour; and a mission - turning rhetoric about patient centred care into reality.

Judith John

11:55am  Update from Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada & Research Symposium Winning Teams announced 
12:10pm Lunch


After lunch, the rooms will be divided into breakout sessions to run from 1:15pm - 2:55pm. These sessions will be repeated, please choose two to attend. 

Note for people live streaming:

The following three breakout sessions will be live streamed: 

  • cannabis and brain tumours
  • for parents
  • for people diagnosed with a non-malignant brain tumour

National Conference - Breakout Sessions
Session 1.


Moderator: Rosie Cashman, Nurse Practitioner, BC Cancer Agency

Session Title: Self-Compassion for the Caregiver – A Panel of Caregivers

Session Outline: This session will look at the uniqueness of the brain tumour caregiver experience. Panelists and session participants will have an opportunity to dialogue around self-compassion, self-care and creative approaches to caring for a loved one with a brain tumour while coping with the physical and psychological distress of the diagnosis and treatment. 

Session 2.


Presenter: Dr. Adam Fleming, McMaster Children’s Hospital

Session Title: Life After a Childhood Brain Tumour

Session Outline: Survivors of childhood brain tumours often face serious side-effects from chemotherapy, radiation and surgery that is necessary to treat them. Some of these we understand very well, others we are just starting to understand better as treatments improve and people are living longer. This session will look at the late effects, how they affect children and young adults, and how we may be able to influence this impact in the future.

Session 3.


Presenter: Dr. Lynda Balneaves, Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of Manitoba

Session Title: Update on Cannabis and Brain Tumours

Session Outline: In this session, a review of the latest evidence regarding the benefits and risks of cannabis and its role in the management of brain tumours will be provided. Current legislation regarding cannabis use in Canada, as well as harm reduction strategies will also be discussed to support patients and family members in making informed decisions about cannabis.

Session 4.


Presenter: Chelsea Mackinnon, Research Lead, 217 Foundation

Session Title: Music Heals: Therapeutic Applications of Music for Rehabilitation

Session Outline: When we engage with music, many different brain areas are activated. Music impacts our biology, and is intimately linked to the psychological, social, spiritual, and cognitive human domains. This interactive presentation will provide an overview of the effects that music has on the brain and will demonstrate therapeutic applications of music. Participants will leave with tangible take-aways to inform self-care as well as other caring relationships.

Session 5.


Presenter: Rachel Nicoletti, Registered Nurse and Sexual Health Clinician, Vancouver Coastal Health

Session Title: Sexuality, Intimacy and Brain Tumours

Session Outline: Explore the importance of Sexual Health Rehab for people living with brain tumour, their loved ones, or healthcare providers. This may include issues related to sexual function, sexual self esteem, as well as maintaining or re-establishing intimacy. Strategies to address these issues and optimize quality of life in these areas will be discussed.

Session 6.


Moderator: TBD

Session Title: What About Us?

Session Outline: This session will focus on support, information, resources and challenges for people diagnosed with a non-malignant brain tumour with a panel of survivors answering questions from the moderator and session participants.


After a break, the plenary sessions will resume, both in person and these plenary sessions will also be live streamed.

National Conference - Afternoon - Plenary Sessions

Oncolytic Viruses: Biological Machines for the Treatment of Brain Tumours

This session will review how cancers arise, why cancer cells are unusually susceptible to virus infection and how viruses are being combined with other therapeutics to help with the treatment of malignant brain tumours. 

Dr. John Bell, Senior Scientist, Centre for Innovative Cancer Research, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute


Personal Story of Hope - Your Health Is in Your Hands

When the curveball of a health diagnosis hits, it can leave us reeling. Learning to navigate the uncharted waters of the health care system can be a daunting task. Using a T.E.A.M. Approach can help put your health in your hands. This talk focuses on how a T.E.A.M Approach can empower patients & caregivers to navigate, connect, communicate and collaborate during the patient journey.

Claire Snyman (diagnosed with a non-malignant brain tumour)

4:10pm Closing Remarks
  The Toronto Conference will end at 4:30 pm.  


< Register now to attend the Toronto National Conference in person or via live streaming

Saturday, October 27, 2018 - 8:30 am -  12:00 pm - Montreal - Presentations in French include:

Comprendre les tumeurs cérébrales
Dr Roberto Jose Diaz, MD, PhD, FRCS(C)
Institut et hôpital neurologique de Montréal, Université McGill

Faire face à une tumeur cérébrale pédiatrique : Options de traitement, soins et ressources
Julie Brouillard, B.Sc.inf, M.A. Bioéthique
Hôpital de Montréal pour enfants

Pour tout savoir sur le cannabis médical
Vi Dam, Coordonnatrice de recherche
Santé Cannabis

Garder le cap durant les tempêtes: Comment bâtir sa résilience en s'inspirant de la nature
Lyne Morissette, PhD
PDG à M - Expertise Marine et spécialiste écosystèmes et mammifères marins au Bureau d'information maritime

< Register now for the Montreal Conference!


For more information, please contact:

Janic Gorayeb
Senior Health Information Specialist
1-800-265-5106 or 519-642-7755 ext 233   


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