Decoding Pancreatic Cancer: From Bench To Scope - 2020 Junior Scientist Award (Clinical)
Tue, 20 Oct 2020

Pancreatic cancer kills 90% of patients within 5 years from diagnosis. The grim prognosis is due to tumour spread in most patients at diagnosis, high relapse rates in early stage tumours and poor response to treatment. Not all tumours are the same and individual tumours have unique molecular traits that can predict outcome and response to specific therapies. Progress in understanding these traits has created hope that precision medicine, where treatment is customized based on individual tumour's unique biology, will finally improve outcome for patients. Despite this progress, however, the big data have not yet been scaled down to real-world clinical application to benefit most patients. Dr. Schaeffer's research aims to tackle this challenge and accelerate the implementation of molecular science-based tumour knowledge into the clinic. This talk will review the discoveries from a large-scale national pancreatic cancer molecular profiling study and innovative research in cell models derived directly from patient's tumours to develop strategies to classify individual pancreatic tumours, and translate this knowledge for the benefit of more pancreatic cancer patients.


At the end of the activity, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the latest molecular subtypes of PDAC
  • Apply molecular knowledge in day to day sign out
  • Review the challenges and opportunities in diagnosing pancreatic cysts

Target audience: Pathologists, Residents, Medical Students

CanMEDS Roles: Medical Expert (the integrating role), Health Advocate, Scholar, Professional

Speaker: Dr. David Schaeffer, Associate Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, UBC.

Dr. Schaeffer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at University of British Columbia and the Head of the Division of Anatomic Pathology at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) where he practices as a gastrointestinal pathologist. Dr. Schaeffer obtained his medical degree from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany. After a residency program in Anatomical Pathology in Vancouver he completed his gastrointestinal pathology fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Dr. Schaeffer is a co-director of Pancreas Centre BC and also heads the Gastrointestinal Biobank (GIBB) at VGH. He has an active research program focusing predominately on translational research in colonic and pancreatic cancer.




- last updated September 2020 -