About The Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network
The Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network is a collective of local, regional and national partners committed to facilitating collaborative clinical care, accelerating the adoption of new technologies, engaging more patients in research through improved access to clinical trials and advancing innovations that improve patient outcomes and provide confidence and comfort that the best care can be achieved close to home. In parallel, we will work together to deliver seamless, efficient and timely navigation to access specialized care at Princess Margaret, when, and if, the need arises. For healthcare providers within the partner institutions there will be significant in-person and virtual networking, learning and best practice sharing opportunities.
Dr. Andrea Bezjak, MDCM, MSc, FRCPC
Medical Director, Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network
Dr. Andrea Bezjak is a Professor in the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Clinical Epidemiology & Health Care Research at the University of Toronto, Canada and staff radiation oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center/University Health Network, specializing in thoracic malignancies and management of extra-cranial metastatic disease. She has held a number of leadership positions locally and nationally, including being the PMH Cancer Program Site Group Leader (2009-16), the inagural Addie MacNaughton Chair in Thoracic Radiation Oncology at the University of Toronto (2004-19), President of CARO (Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology, 2011-13), Chair of CROF (Canadian Radiation Oncology Foundation, 2016-20), Chair of the NCIC Clinical Trials Group Quality of Life Committee (1996-2006) and Member of the Board of several international professional societies, most recently IASLC (International Association for Study of Lung Cancer, 2019-current). She has authored or co-authored more than 240 peer reviewed manuscripts and has been a principal investigator of multi-center clinical trials in lung cancer. She is passionate about excellence in clinical care, research and education and known for her collaborative style of leadership. In August 2021, she was appointed as the Medical Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network. In her personal life, she enjoys spending time with her family, friendships, relaxing at the lake and travelling.
Dr. Keith Stewart, MB ChB, FRCPC, MBA
Vice President, Cancer at University Health Network and Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Program
Dr. Stewart is Vice President, Cancer at University Health Network and Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Program. He is Regional Vice-President, Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario), and holds the Richard H. Clark Chair in Cancer Medicine.
Dr. Stewart received his medical degree at Aberdeen University Medical School and trained in internal medicine and hematology in Glasgow, Kingston, Toronto, and Boston. In 2002, he completed a Master of Business Administration at the Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario. Dr. Stewart has served in several healthcare leadership roles across both research and clinical practice in Toronto and at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Stewart returned to Toronto from the Mayo Clinic where he most recently was Director of the Center for Individualized Medicine.
Dr. Stewart’s own research and clinical practice are focused on the biology, genomics, and treatment of Multiple Myeloma. He has published over 350 research papers and led numerous clinical trials of novel therapeutics for this disease from first in-person to large practice-changing studies.
Meena Merali, PEng, MBA
Director, Strategy and Transformation
Meena Merali is the Director of Strategy and Transformation at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. She is a results driven healthcare leader with a track record of building strong, collaborative partnerships at the local, national, and global scale. As a Professional Engineer, she has proven expertise in leading and executing complex implementation projects involving stakeholders across the health system. Meena has led sustainable and culturally congruent international programs to build capacity, improve access to cancer care, and advocate for global cancer control. In her current role, she provides leadership to drive strategic priorities and integrate research, education and clinical care.
Meena holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Business Administration from Ivey Business School at Western University. She brings a diverse perspective with experiences spanning both public and private sectors in manufacturing, energy, consumer packaged goods, and healthcare. Meena enjoys spending time with family and friends, travelling, and creating art through various mediums.
Calvin D’Souza, MHA
Manager, Strategy and Transformation
Calvin is a Manager at Stragety and Transformation at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. He graduated from Western University with an Honours Bachelor of Science and from Dalhousie University with a Masters of Health Administration. During this time, he cared for family members diagnosed with cancer. Calvin’s passion for working in cancer care, combined with his educational, and professional experiences enable him to advance cancer care by leading innovative program offerings and aligning strategic priorities across Princess Margaret. In his free time, Calvin enjoys playing soccer, spikeball and spending time with family and friends.
Renie Kee, MPH
Project Coordinator, Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network
Renie is a Project Coordinator at Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Kinesiology and from Western University with a Master of Public Health. Renie is passionate about health promotion and equity, community development, as well as the integrated delivery and improvement of patient-focused care. Renie is excited to use her combined education and experiences to advance cancer care! In her spare time, Renie enjoys swimming, running, and spending time outdoors with friends and family.
About the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre at the University Health Network is the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Canada and a global leader in cancer research, education and clinical care. We aim now to expand beyond our walls and share our unique, specialised expertise and technology with like minded cancer treatment centres across Canada. We aspire to help deliver the most advanced care everywhere, partnering in a mutually beneficial way, with a continued focus on the fundamental goals of curing more cancers, developing less toxic and more efficacious therapies, harnessing data and applying digital intelligence while elevating the comfort and confidence to cancer care providers, learners, patients and caregivers.
Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology
Head of Medical Oncology and Hematology: Dr. Amit M. Oza
The Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology (DMOH) is dedicated to providing the most advanced therapeutic approaches to patients diagnosed with solid or hematologic malignancies, and home to internationally recognized programs in genomic medicine, immunotherapy, myeloproliferative neoplasm, and hematology programs. DMOH is also home to the largest leukemia, stem cell transplant, and malignant hematology programs in Canada. We have contributed to seminal practice changing studies and biologic knowledge through our early phase clinical trials programs. Together, we endeavour to be global leaders in improving outcomes, and advancing care through continuous innovation and research.
Radiation Medicine Program
Head of Radiation Medicine Program: Dr. David Kirsch
The internationally acclaimed Radiation Medicine Program (RMP) at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is the largest radiation treatment centre in Canada, and amongst the top three such programs in the world. Our program is committed to patient-centred care with a focus on quality, safety, and knowledge dissemination. We improve the quality of radiation therapy worldwide through innovative research, education and cutting-edge radiation practices and technologies. RMP has the world’s largest MR Program with two MR-guided radiation therapy facilities onsite (a state-of-the-art Magnetic Resonance-guided Radiation Therapy (MRgRT) facility and an MR-Linac), and the world’s largest deployment of the RayStation Treatment Planning System. Our program also includes 16 linear accelerators, a Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion unit, a Gamma Knife Icon unit, an orthovoltage unit, a PET CT, an MRI 3T simulator, and three CT simulators. In addition, RMP offers a Pediatric Radiation Therapy Program, which delivers specialized pediatric radiation for children with cancer. Our program includes 37 radiation oncologists, 32 medical physicists, 195 radiation therapists, 21 Clinical Research Program staff, 4 Nurse Practitioners and various clinical, research, administrative, and technical support teams. Our interprofessional group of over 410 staff work together to deliver high quality and safe radiation treatment to over 9,000 cancer patients annually.
Department of Surgical Oncology
Chief of Surgical Oncology: Dr. Girish Kulkarni
Surgical Oncology is committed to providing access to leading edge surgical techniques and technologies that improve patient outcomes, with a focus on delivering comprehensive, compassionate care for our patients. With 76 dedicated cancer surgeons, our multidisciplinary surgical teams offer services for central nervous system, breast, skin and melanoma, sarcoma, urology, head and neck, thoracic, hepatobiliary, colorectal, gynecologic, ocular neoplasms, oncological reconstruction, endocrine, and dental oncology. We have an internationally recognized interdisciplinary program dedicated to clinical and translational research, innovation, and education. We endeavour to meet the increasing demand for the surgical management of cancer, and we are committed to providing the best practice of care through collaboration, outreach, and partnership with our community.
Department of Supportive Care
Head of Supportive Care: Dr. Camilla Zimmermann
The Department of Supportive Care (DSC) is dedicated to relieving physical and psychological distress and improving quality of life for patients and families throughout the trajectory of illness. The DSC provides a holistic and comprehensive team-based approach to care for patients and their families. Our Department is comprised of Psychosocial Oncology, Palliative Care, and Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship. Our interdisciplinary clinical team includes social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, palliative care physicians, nurses, expressive arts therapists, kinesiologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, registered massage therapists and other allied health professionals. The DSC has become an internationally recognized program for research and education, developing and testing novel approaches to treatment and training learners from all over the world. In addition, we have gained international acclaim for novel programs such as the Adolescent and Young Adult Program, Geriatric Oncology Program, Caregiver Clinic, Sexual & Gender Diversity in Cancer Care Working Group, as well as the Global Institute of Psychosocial, Palliative and End-of-Life Care (GIPPEC).
Collaborative Academic Practice
Director of Professional Practice: Anet Julius
The Collaborative Academic Practice (CAP) portfolio is rooted in the strength and contribution that each profession brings to the whole. CAP leads the synthesis of practice, education and research within the individual professions and collectively integrating practice amongst the health professions. The CAP portfolio consists of 15 health professions comprised of more than 650 people, including: Nursing, Medical Imaging Technology, Respiratory Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Radiation Therapy, Speech Language Pathology, Social Work, Spiritual Care, Clinical Nutrition, Therapeutic Recreation, Kinesiology, Anesthesia, Psychology, and Chiropody.
Princess Margaret Strategic Pillars
The Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network has strong collaborations with the Princess Margaret strategic pillar leads to advance cancer clinical care, research and innovation, and education. Below are the princess margaret pillars
Lead: Dr. Raymond Kim
The Cancer Early Detection program at the Princess Margaret shifts the focus of cancer treatment and research from advanced cancers to early cancers. By detecting cancer at its initial stages, curative treatment is more achievable. The Cancer Early Detection program leverages significant advances in cancer genomics, liquid biopsy, imaging and chemoprophylactic approaches to stop cancer before it progresses or recurs. It focuses on at-risk populations, molecular residual disease, high-risk gene carriers, and cancer survivors to demonstrate that cancer can be detected early and even prevented.
Leads: Drs. John Kuruvilla and Stephanie Lheureux
The High Definition Therapeutics program focuses on the support, investment, and strategic oversight of in-centre activities that will move us towards more targeted therapies. This program will uncover, trial, and expand alternative treatments that are highly effective while minimizing harmful side effects for patients. Through clinical advancement in particle therapy, theranostics, immunotherapy, genomics, and revisions in models of care, the High Definition Therapeutics program strives to support positive patient outcomes though the implementation of innovative therapies.
Cancer Digital Intelligence
Leads: Dr. Alejandro Berlin and Dr. Benjamin Haibe-Kains
Cancer Digital Intelligence (CDI) is a research and innovation program dedicated to enabling the best care possible for people affected by cancer. CDI aims to accelerate the application of discoveries in cancer care through the fusion of human wisdom, data and technology. The program applies a nimble strategy that is grounded in partnerships with patients, health teams and researchers to accelerate the spread and scale of digital innovation. CDI’s program structure is built on a strong foundation in data science and analytics that will enable progress in three strategic domains: business intelligence, care innovation, and discovery integration.
The Cancer Experience
Lead: Dr. Gary Rodin
The Cancer Experience program addresses the urgent need for cancer care that is not only medically rigorous, but also empathic, inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible for all. It aims to infuse comfort and confidence into every interaction to support the well-being of patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and trainees. The Cancer Experience program ensures that essential information and guidance, along with access to health care providers and specialized programs of support, is readily available to patients and their caregivers as they navigate through the complex system of cancer care.