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CONFERENCE CO-CHAIRS

Stephen K. L. Chia, MD, FRCPC
Co-chair, Cdn Breast Cancer Conference 2024

Professor of Medicine,
Head of Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine
University of British Columbia,
Medical Oncologist,
BC Cancer, Vancouver Clinic

Head of Department of Clinical Research and Distinguished Scientist, BC Cancer and BC Cancer Research Institute
Chair British Columbia Breast Tumour Group
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Dr. Chia is a Full Professor in the Division of Medical Oncology, Head of the Division of Medical Oncology, UBC and a staff medical oncologist with the BC Cancer, Vancouver Cancer Centre. He has a full-time clinical practice focusing on breast cancer and in new drug development. He is the Chair of the BC Cancer Breast Tumour Group and Head of the Department of Clinical Research. He is also the Co-Chair of the Breast Disease Site for Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG).

Dr. Chia is recognized both nationally and internationally for his research work on breast cancer. His focus is on clinical trials and translational research. He has published over 190 peer-reviewed papers. Dr. Chia has been a Subject Editor for British Journal of Cancer and The Oncologist, and is the current section author for UpToDate™ in the Prognostic/ Predictive Markers Section. He holds numerous peer reviewed grants.

Wendy Lam, B Sc. (Pharm), MD, FRCPC
Co-chair, Cdn Breast Cancer Conference 2024

Hematologist and Medical Oncologist
Burnaby Hospital Regional Cancer Center
Director, BC Community Oncology Trialists
Burnaby, BC

Dr. Wendy Lam is a hematologist and medical oncologist at the Burnaby Hospital Regional Cancer Centre.

She received her B.Sc (Pharmacy) at Dalhousie University and her MD from University of British Columbia. She then completed her Internal Medicine residency at UBC and Hematology fellowship at McMaster University.

She is the Founding Director of the British Columbia Community Oncology Trialists (BC Cot), which is a collaborative group of oncologists and hematologists involved in clinical research.

Her other interests include education of patients through meeting with patient groups. She has also been instrumental in organizing meetings for continued medical education.

She is Director of the Society of Hematology and Oncology of BC at British Columbia Medical Association

PLANNING COMMITTEE

Vanessa Bernstein, BA, MSc, MD, FRCPC

Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine
University of British Columbia,
Medical Oncologist
BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Island Centre
Victoria, BC

Dr. Vanessa Bernstein is a medical oncologist at the Vancouver Island Cancer Centre who specializes in breast cancer and melanoma. She graduated magnum cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. She completed her MD, Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology training at the University of British Columbia. She was the 2000 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation BC/Yukon Chapter Research Fellow. She used this opportunity to complete a Master’s of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Bernstein is the medical director of the Systemic Therapy Clinical Trials Unit at the Vancouver Island Cancer Centre. She has been a local and provincial principal investigator for many phase I, II and III clinical trials. She chaired the BC Cancer Agency Breast Cancer Systemic Policy Group from 2013-2015. She is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia and has taught many medical students and residents.

Debjani Grenier B.Sc., MD, FRCPC

Medical Oncologist, CancerCare Manitoba
Associate Professor, University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB

Dr. Grenier is an Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba and a medical oncologist at CancerCare Manitoba in Winnipeg, with a specific expertise in breast and skin cancers. She is originally from the UK and completed her medical oncology training at the University of Manitoba, followed by a Breast Cancer Fellowship at Women’s College Hospital, University of Toronto. She was the previous chair of the provincial Breast Cancer Disease Site Group and has multiple research interests, including toxicities from cancer therapies, breast cancer prevention and promoting the field of oncology to medical trainees. Dr. Grenier has a particular interest in medical education and was the previous director of the undergraduate oncology program at the Max Rady College of Medicine, as well as program director of the medical oncology residency training program. She is currently a member of the residency program committee and chair of the competence subcommittee. Dr. Grenier also served as chair of the medical oncology examination board of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and as a member of the Specialty Committee in medical oncology at the Royal College. She is appointed to the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR) Breast Cancer Clinical Guidance Panel and is a member of the Canadian National Neoadjuvant Breast Cancer Consortium.

Anil Abraham Joy, BSc, MD, FRCPC

Department of Oncology, Division of Medical Oncology,
University of Alberta
Medical Oncologist, Cross Cancer Institute
Edmonton, AB

Dr. Anil Abraham Joy is a Professor in the Department of Oncology, Division of Medical Oncology in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta and has been a staff medical oncologist at the Cross Cancer Institute since 2003.

Dr. Joy’s primary clinical and translational research areas of interest include breast and thoracic malignancies. He has ongoing interest in medical education, guideline development, cardio-oncology, exercise, dietary and lifestyle interventional research, global oncology, regional disparity issues, as well as promoting physician wellness.

His past appointments include being Chair for the Northern Alberta Breast Cancer Program, Provincial Chair for the Alberta Breast Cancer Program and has also served as a member of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR) – on the Expert Review Committee (pERC).

He is the current Research Lead for the Breast Cancer Program at the Cross Cancer Institute and serves as the Thoracic Oncology Coordinator for the University of Alberta, Medical Oncology Residency Training Program.

Marianna Kapala, MD, FRCSC

Associate Staff, Division General and Breast Surgery
Trillium Health Partners
Medical Director, Breast Diagnostic Assessment Program
Betty Wallace Woman’s Health Center
Toronto, ON

Marianna Kapala graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 2001, and subsequently, in 2006, completed a residency at the University of Toronto in General Surgery.

Since 2007 Dr. Kapala has held the position of Associate Staff within the Division General Surgery at Trillium Health Partners, Mississauga, Ontario, with primary focus of practice on breast surgery.

She is the Medical Director for the Betty Wallace Women’s Health Center Breast Diagnostic Assessment Program, and an Investigator with the Institute for Better Health. Dr. Kapala is a  Lecturer at the University of Toronto. Since 2017 she has been a key faculty member for the Oncoplastic Partnership Workshop teaching and leading courses across Canada.

Mira Keyes, MD, FRCPC

Clinical Professor Radiation Oncology
Division of Surgery, University of British Columbia
BC Cancer, Vancouver, Cancer Centre
Vancouver, BC

Dr. Keyes is a Clinical Professor in Radiation Oncology, University of British Columbia (UBC), a Fellow (FABS) of American Brachytherapy Society (ABS), vice-president ABS, recipient of ABS President Award, Vice-Chair of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and UBC program director AFC (Area of Focused Competence) Diploma in Brachytherapy. She is a former UBC Radiation Oncology Residency Training Program director and recipient of several teaching and mentorship awards.  Dr. Keyes is a keynote speaker at international conferences an author of over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts. She holds CIHR and Michael Smith Foundation grant for translational research in prostate cancer

Nathalie LeVasseur MD, BSc, FRCPC

Medical Oncologist, BC Cancer
Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine, UBC
Vancouver, BC

Nathalie LeVasseur is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver since October 2019. She received her medical degree in 2013 and completed her internal medicine residency at the University of Ottawa. She subsequently pursued a residency in medical oncology at the University of British Columbia and served as chief resident before completing a breast cancer clinical and research fellowship at the BC Cancer Agency.

Dr. LeVasseur is the current chair of Breast Systemic Policy in BC, the co-lead of the Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Unit in Vancouver and serves on the CCTG IND Executive Committee. Her research focus is in the development of personalized oncology with informative tools, genomics and transcriptomics. Additionally, the improvement of patient outcomes and survivorship is an area of ongoing research interest.

Dr. LeVasseur is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. She holds professional memberships with the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Canadian Association of Medical Oncology, among others. She has received academic achievement awards including a Conquer Cancer ASCO Merit Award, NOYCIA Award and a Coltman Scholars Award.

Mita Manna, MD, FRCPC

Medical Oncologist, Saskatchewan Cancer Agency
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK

Dr. Mita Manna is a dual trained Hematologist and Medical Oncologist. Currently, she is a Medical Oncologist at the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency in Saskatoon as well as Assistant Professor within the Department of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Manna’s main areas of clinical focus include breast and thoracic malignancies. She is the Provincial Disease Site Group Chair for Breast Malignancies and is the Multidisciplinary Tumor Board Chair for Breast Malignancies. She is an HR committee member for the Canadian Association of Medical Oncology and is the Saskatoon Site Lead for the Canadian Cooperative Trials Group. Other areas of interest include medical education and patient education.

Elaine McKevitt, BSc, MED, MD, FRCS(C), FACS

Clinical Professor, University of British Columbia
Director of Surgical Education, Mount St Joseph Hospital
Vancouver, BC

Dr. Elaine McKevitt is a general and breast surgeon working at Providence Health Care in Vancouver. She completed her General Surgery at UBC in 2002 and went on to complete a Masters of Education at UBC. She works primarily at Mt St Joseph Hospital where she has been involved in the development of the Providence Breast Center which aims to bring navigated multidisciplinary cancer care to breast cancer patients. Her educational, administrative, and research interests have focussed on optimizing breast cancer surgery. She is a Clinical Professor at UBC and is currently the chair for the BC Cancer Surgical Breast Tumor Group.

Christine Simmons, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Medical Oncologist, BC Cancer
Program Director, Medical Oncology Training Program
Clinical Associate Professor, UBC Faculty of Medicine
Vancouver, BC

Dr. Christine Simmons is a Medical Oncologist at the BCCA Vancouver. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia in the Faculty of Medicine. She is past Chair of the Locally Advanced Breast Cancer Canadian National Consensus group and has a strong research interest in the area of neoadjuvant therapy for breast cancer. In July 2014, she took on the role of Clinical Skills Course Director in the undergraduate medical program at UBC.

ONCOPLASTIC WORKSHOP SPEAKERS

Muriel Brackstone, MD, PhD, FRCSC

Surgical Oncologist
Medical Director, London Breast Care Clinic
Professor, Western University,
London, ON

Dr. Brackstone attended the University of Western Ontario, where she received an Honours Bachelor of Science in Physiology in 1992, and a Master’s degree in Neurosciences in 1994. She attended Medical school at UWO and graduated in 1999 (gold medalist). She received her training in General Surgery in London, ON and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 2004, concurrently with her PhD in Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics. Her fellowship in Breast Surgical Oncology was completed in Toronto in 2005 under Dr. Claire Holloway and Dr. David McCready at Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre. Her research interests include breast ultrasound to improve lumpectomy techniques, translational breast cancer research, and specialty clinics for Locally Advanced Breast Cancer (LABC) patients and Young Women with Breast Cancer (fertility and genetics issues). Other clinical interests include thyroid surgery, laparoscopic procedures and a varied general surgical practice.

Renee M Hanrahan, MD, FRCSC

Oncologic and Reconstructive Breast Surgeon, General Surgeon
Royal Victoria Regional Hospital and Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre, Barrie
Chief of General Surgery, Royal Victoria Hospital, Barrie
Barrie, ON

Jeannie Richardson MD, FRCSC

General Surgeon, Trillium Health Partners
Lead, General Surgery, Mississauga Hospital and Queensway Health Centre
Lecturer, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto
Toronto, ON

SPEAKERS

Andrew Bang, MPH MD FRCSC

Radiation Oncologist,
BC Cancer
Vancouver, BC

Dr. Andrew Bang is a radiation oncologist at BC Cancer Vancouver.  He completed his residency at the University of Ottawa and fellowships in SABR and combination IO therapies at Princess Margaret Cancer Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Jeffrey Q. Cao, BSc (Hons), MD, MBA, FRCPC

Radiation Oncologist, Tom Baker Cancer Centre
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Calgary
Provincial Breast Tumour Team Lead, Alberta Health Services
Calgary, AB

Dr. Jeffrey Cao, BSc (Hons), MD, MBA, FRCPC is a Radiation Oncologist at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Calgary. He is currently the Provincial Breast Tumour Team Lead with Alberta Health Services Cancer Care Alberta.

Margot K. Davis, MD, MSc, FRCPC, FCCS

Clinical Associate Professor, UBC Cardiology
Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology, St. Paul’s Hospital
Director, UBC Cardio-Oncology Program and Cardiac Amyloidosis Clinic
Vancouver, BC

Margot Davis is a cardiologist at St. Paul’s Hospital, a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, and Director of the UBC Cardiology-Oncology Program and the UBC Cardiac Amyloidosis Clinic. Dr. Davis is Co-Chair of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS)/Canadian Heart Failure Society (CHFS) Position Statement on Cardiac Amyloidosis, a Primary Panel member of the CCS Cardio-Oncology Guidelines, and a Secondary Panel member of the CCS Heart Failure Guidelines. She is Secretary/Treasurer of the Canadian Heart Failure Society, Member-at-Large on the Canadian Cardiac Oncology Network Board of Directors, and Western Regional Director of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Her research is focused on cardiac amyloidosis, heart disease in cancer patients, and advanced heart failure.

Karen A Gelmon, BA, MD, FRCPC

Professor of Medicine, University of British Columbia
Medical Oncologist, BC Cancer
Vancouver, BC

Dr. Karen Gelmon is a Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia and a Medical Oncologist at BC Cancer. She chairs the UBC/BC Cancer Research Ethics Board. She is a past Chair of the CCTG Breast and IND committees as well a prior Head of the Division of Medical Oncology. She was on the Susan G Komen Scientific Advisory Board, the Breast International Group (BIG) Executive Board and on the North American Breast Cancer Group (NABCG) as well as a prior Komen Scholar. She cochaired the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research (OICR) scientific advisory board. She is an elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Her expertise lies with clinical trials and developing knowledge in breast cancer prognosis as well as the development of other new drugs and studies in supportive care including exercise.

Iwa Kong, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Radiation Oncologist,
BC Cancer Vancouver
Clinical Associate Professor,
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC

Dr. Iwa Kong is a radiation oncologist specializing in breast and gynecological malignancies at BC Cancer Vancouver and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia. She completed residency training at the University of Toronto Princess Margaret Hospital and a Breast Oncology research fellowship at Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre concurrently with a Masters Degree in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Toronto Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. She is interested in tailoring of radiotherapy in breast and gynecological malignancies, radiation clinical trials and quality of life research. She is actively involved in the Canadian Clinical Trials group and member of the Quality of Life committee and the breast and gynecological disease site groups.

Theodora Koulis, MD

Radiation Oncologist, BC Cancer
Victoria, BC

Dr. Koulis is a Radiation Oncologist at BC Cancer Victoria.  She is the RO breast lead at her center and the Chair of the Provincial Breast RO Tumour Group for BC Cancer.

John Mackey

Professor Emeritus, Department of Oncology,
University of Alberta
Medical Oncologist, Kelowna Cancer Centre
Kelowna, BC

John Mackey is Professor Emeritus, Department of Oncology at the University of Alberta, and recently joined the Kelowna Cancer Centre as a medical oncologist. He was previously the director of the Clinical Trial Unit at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, an executive director of TRIO, a global clinical trial organization with more than forty thousand participants in interventional cancer clinical trials (www.trioncology.org).

John co-founded Pacylex Pharmaceuticals (www.pacylex.com) to develop a first in class new anticancer therapy exploiting inhibition of N-myristoyl transferases, now in Phase II trials. He is a Director and CMO of illumiSonics (www.illumisonics.com),  using new physics for real-time molecular histology on fixed and fresh tissues with Photon Absorption Remote Sensing (PARS). He co-developed CWTA, (www.chauhanwta.com), an improved version of Kaplan-Meier analysis that permits analysis and display of multiple health states over time including patient recovery, reduces sample sizes and shortens time to trial readout. He holds twelve patents and has (co)authored more than 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts. For these efforts, he was inducted as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Shanu Modi, MD

Professor of Medicine
Section Head, HER2 Breast Cancer Program
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Weill Cornell Medical College
New York, New York, United States

Shanu Modi, MD, is a Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, New York. She is also a Full Member and Attending on the Breast Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York, New York. She received her medical degree from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada where she also completed a residency in internal medicine. She followed this with subspecialty training in medical oncology at the Cross Cancer Institute and subsequently completed a 4-year fellowship in breast cancer research at MSKCC.  She has been a full-time faculty member on the Breast Medicine Service at MSKCC since 2005.

She has clinical practice dedicated to the treatment of patients with breast cancer and has a clinical research career in the development of HER2 targeted therapies and is currently the Section Head for HER2 Breast Cancer Program for the Breast Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

In her earliest work, she led the first in human study of Trastuzumab Emtansine (T-DM1), the first antibody drug conjugate (ADC) for HER2+ breast cancer, at MSKCC and conducted followup phase 1b and 2 trials which ultimately led to the FDA approval for TDM1 in 2013.  Over the past decade, she has led or participated in numerous studies of novel HER2 targeting agents or strategies, including monoclonal antibodies, T-Cell Bispecific agents, PI3k inhibitors, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, checkpoint blockade inhibitors , HSP90 inhibitors and HER3 monoclonal antibodies. Her most work is focused on the clinical development of the new generation HER2 targeted ADC, including Trastuzumab Deruxtecan (T-Dxd).  She led the pivotal phase 2 trial of this ADC for HER2+ MBC and published her findings in the NEJM and this work led to accelerated FDA approval in 2019.  In 2022 she presented and published ground-breaking phase 3 data for T-Dxd in the treatment of patients with HER2-Low MBC, and based on this work, also published in the NEJM, T-Dxd is also now approved as the first HER2 targeted therapy for patients with HER2 Low MBC.

Ann H. Partridge, MD, MPH

Medical Oncologist
Vice Chair, Department of Medical Oncology,
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Professor, Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA

Dr. Partridge is a practicing medical oncologist and clinical researcher. She is vice chair of the Department of Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she also serves as director of the Adult Survivorship Program and co-founder and director of the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer. As a professor at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Partridge holds the Eric P. Winer, MD Chair in Breast Cancer Research at Dana-Farber. She leads clinical research and educational efforts nationally and internationally, and is particularly committed to improving outcomes for young women with breast cancer. Dr. Partridge serves on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), co-chairs the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Breast Committee, and serves on the NCI Breast Cancer Steering Committee. She is Chief Scientific Advisor for Susan G. Komen, and her research has been supported by the NCI, Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), Conquer Cancer, and Susan G. Komen. Dr. Partridge has received a Champions of Change award from the U.S. White House, the American Association for Clinical Research (AACR) Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer, and ASCO’s Ellen L. Stovall Award for Advancement of Cancer Survivorship Care.

Hope S. Rugo, MD, FASCO

Professor of Medicine
Winterhof Family Professor of Breast Cancer
Director, Breast Oncology and Clinical Trials Education
Medical Director, Cancer Infusion Services
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
San Francisco, CA

Hope S. Rugo is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She is Director of Breast Oncology and Clinical Trials Education at UCSF’s Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Rugo is an internationally recognized expert in breast cancer. Her research interests include novel therapies for advanced breast cancer, immune modulation to restore chemotherapy sensitivity, evaluation of circulating tumor DNA as a marker of response and resistance to therapy, neoadjuvant therapy, and safety/supportive care. She is a principal investigator of multiple clinical trials and has published widely in medical journals. Dr. Rugo also plays an active role in the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium, ASCO, MASCC, and international guideline committees including NCCN. Dr. Rugo is dedicated to education and mentorship, providing guidance to medical students, residents, and fellows at UCSF and beyond.

Elizaveta Vasilyeva, MD, MHSc, FRCSC

Surgical Oncologist and General Surgeon
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC

Dr. Elizaveta Vasilyeva is a Surgical Oncologist specializing in Breast Oncology in Vancouver, BC. She completed her General Surgery Residency and Complex Surgical Oncology Fellowship at the University of British Columbia. With a strong focus on multidisciplinary patient care, Elizaveta collaborates closely with Medical and Radiation Oncologists, Radiologists, and Pathologists to provide comprehensive treatment options. She is actively involved in research, particularly in breast cancer outcomes and innovative treatment protocols. Her goal is to advance Surgical Oncology and make a meaningful impact in breast cancer treatment.