The work of Dr. David Huntsman MD, FRCPC, FCCMG, has had a transformative effect on cancer prevention and treatment.
He is a pathologist and clinical cancer geneticist with BC Cancer and researcher with the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. He is a professor in the departments of pathology and laboratory medicine and obstetrics and gynecology at UBC, and the Chew Wei professor of gynecologic oncology.
A co-founder of OVCARE, an ovarian cancer research program aimed at improving patient outcomes, Dr. Huntsman has contributed greatly to the understanding of ovarian cancer. His research team at OVCARE demonstrated that ovarian cancer sub-types should be considered as different diseases to successfully identify bio-markers. This work has led to new diagnostic tools and ongoing progress on improved treatments. Once identified, more targeted and appropriate treatments can be developed. This led the OVCARE team to launch the world's first population based ovarian cancer prevention program in 2010, recommending fallopian tube removal in specific high-risk patients. This recommendation has since been adopted across Canada and in the US and Europe.
He is also a co-founder of the Genetic Pathology Evaluation Centre which links archival tissues to outcome data, a process that has improved the validation of cancer diagnostics. He also created the Centre for Translational and Applied Genomics which provides clinically accredited molecular pathology services, and is a founder and the Chief Medical Officer of Contextual Genomics, a local biotech company that is delivering global solutions for cancer patients.
Dr. Huntsman's work on the genetics of cancer has advanced the understanding and treatment of hereditary stomach cancer. Prior to his work, little was known about the disease and outcomes for patients were poor. His research has allowed clinicians to identify those at a high genetic risk for this type of cancer and to recommend surgical treatment to prevent the disease.
Dr. Huntsman has published more than 340 papers, many in high impact journals, and has 21,000 citations in the past five years alone. He has also committed significant time to supporting up-and-coming researchers, mentoring more than 30 trainees, whilst also attracting more than $20 million in funding as a principle investigator and $73 million as a co-investigator.
The presentation of the 2018 Aubrey J. Tingle Prize will take place on April 19 at the 20th Annual Life Sciences BC Awards.
This story was republished from an original version that first appeared on MSFHR's website, here.