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Spring Update

The BC Cancer Surgery Network is committed to continuous practice improvement through educational activities and events.

Each year the Network develops, organizes and hosts a medical education program profiling a specific area of cancer surgery and care. These all day courses, called the Spring Update, are fully accredited by The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Featuring expert speakers, the Spring Update is designed to improve surgical oncology practice and knowledge by providing the most current information in the field. 

 Spring Update 2024- Colorectal, Breast, Sarcoma Personalized Cancer Care & Skin Cancer Updates

SATURDAY May 25, 2024

Join us May 25th for the 2024 Spring Update which highlights Colorectal, Breast, Sarcoma Personalized Cancer Care & Skin Cancer Updates.  The hybrid event will be hosted in person at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, and online via zoom. 

Register Here 

The University of British Columbia Division of Continuing Professional Development (UBC CPD) is fully accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Continuing Medical Education (CACME) to provide study credits for continuing medical education for physicians. This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and has been approved by UBC CPD for up to 5.5 MOC Section 1 Group Learning credits. Each physician should claim only those credits accrued through participation in the activity.

Past Events 

BC Cancer Surgery Network Spring Update 2023: Palliative Oncology & Geriatric Care

Once again, the Surgery Network held the Update in the Spring. This event was hosted in person at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, and online via zoom.

The program for the event can be viewed here

BC Cancer Surgery Network Spring Update 2022: Colorectal & Breast Cancer

This year the Surgery Network transitioned the Update to the Spring, and continued to host it virtually via zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The program for the event can be viewed here

BC Cancer Surgery Network Fall Update 2020: Cancer and Beyond

This year the Surgery Network hosted the surgical oncology Fall Update virtually via Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic on October 17th.

The program for the event can be viewed here

The 2019 Fall Update: Management of Not So Rare Cancers conference was held on Saturday October 5 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver. This year’s course focused on a mix of topics including Upper GI, Skin and Sarcoma Tumours. You can find the schedule for the day here.


Dr. Savtaj Brar

Who to refer for hereditary testing

Dr. Eric Lam

Endoscopic evaluation of gastric cancer

Dr. Trevor Hamilton

Diagnostic work up for gastric cancer 

Dr. Howard Lim

Considerations for neoadjuvant therapy for gastric

Dr. Savtaj Brar

Surgical approach for gastric cancer

Dr. Winkle Kwan

Merkel cell carcinoma: Treatment results in BC and clinical problems in management

Dr. Greg McKinnon

Lymph node dissection for melanoma

Dr. Corey Metcalf

Targeted therapy for melanoma

Dr. Andrea MacNeill

Desmoid Fibromatosis

Dr. Paul Clarkson

Management of extremity lipomatous tumours

SON Fall Update in Colorectal Cancer was held on Saturday October 14, 2017 in Vancouver, BC

Our annual surgical oncology conference was held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver on Saturday October 14th 2017. This year's focus was on colorectal cancers and featured guest speakers and topic specialists. The program agenda for the day can be viewed here.


  1. First up, Dr. Cailan MacPherson started the day with a talk entitled Colorectal cancer - No longer an over 50 problem?. The slides can be viewed here.
  2. Next up, Dr. Eric Lam gave a talk on The case for endoscopic mucosal/submucosal resection. You can view the presentation here.
  3. Dr. Terry Phang was up next with a talk called The case for surgery - segmental resection and transanal endoscopic microsurgery. Slides are available to view here.
  4. The guest speaker from Calgary: Dr. Buie, was up next with two presentations, one before the break and one after. The first talk, The role of radiology and the multidisciplinary conference was up first and is available to view here. Next up was his talk entitled Complete clinical response following neo-adjuvant chemoradiation: Operate or observe? and can be viewed here.
  5. The next section in the program was on techniques for rectal cancer surgery and featured two talks by two local surgeons. First up, Dr. Terry Phang returned with his second presentation.
  6. Next up, Dr. Carl Brown from St. Paul's Hospital, gave an excellent talk on the subject of TME. You can view it here.
  7. After lunch, Dr. Trevor Hamilton gave a talk on Peritoneal Carcinomatosis. Slides can be viewed here.
  8. Dr. Andrea MacNeill was up next to follow up with a talk on Retroperitoneal masses. You can see the slides from her talk over here.
  9. Dr. Ahmer Karimuddin continued the discussions with a presentation all about ERAS, including practical advice. You can view his presentation here.
  10. Lastly, conference moderator and local colorectal surgeon Dr. Manoj Raval gave the surgeons in attendance an update on the state of rectal cancer treatment and where it is going in the future. You can view his presentation here.

SON Fall Update in Breast, Melanoma, and HPB Cancers was held on Saturday October 22, 2016 in Vancouver, BC

The Surgical Oncology Network was pleased to host its annual Fall Update, a full-day course, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver on October 22.  This year’s CME accredited conference focused on current breast, melanoma, and HPB cancer management.  The program included presentations from visiting speakers Dr. Greg McKinnon (breast and melanoma) from Calgary and Dr. Alice Wei (HPB) from Toronto, as well as many local experts.

View event program here.


  1. First up, Dr. Alice Wei gave the attendees an update on Liver Cancer in 2016. The presentation slides can be viewed here.
  2. Next up, Dr. Maja Segedi spoke about Colorectal Liver Mets, providing a practical approach to managing them. Here is the presentation 
  3. Dr. Alice Wei gave another two talks, this time on the Management of Pancreas Cancer, and how to workup a Pancreatic Mass. The presentations can be viewed here and here.
  4. Next was the Melanoma portion of the day. First up, visiting speaker Dr. Greg McKinnon talked about Indications for Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy and Completion Lymph Node Dissection in Melanoma. His presentation is viewable here.
  5. Dr. Sanjay Rao from Kelowna then gave a talk on New Systemic Therapies in Advanced Melanoma. His presentation is viewable here.
  6. Next up was the Breast Cancer section of the day. Dr. Greg McKinnon started things with a talk on the Management of the Axilla. Presentation slides can be viewed here.
  7. Dr. Rebecca Warburton was up next with her talk on Surgery in the Setting of Neoadjuvant Therapy. You can see her presentation here.
  8. Next up, Dr. Elaine McKevitt, Dr. Connie Chiu and Dr. Rebecca Nelson all shared tips and tricks for Nipple Sparing Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction. You can view their presentation slides here, here and here respectively.


On November 7  2015, the SON hosted another successful Fall Update in downtown Vancouver at the Four Seasons Hotel. This year's event focused on GI Tract Cancers: From Top to Bottom. 

View event program here.


  1. First up, Dr. Fergul Donnellan spoke on the role of endoscopy in gastric cancer. Presentation can be downloaded here.
  2. Next up, travelling speaker Dr. Natalie Coburn spoke on "Imaging and Laparoscopy" as well as "Best chance for a cure". Click here to download her presentation slides.
  3. Dr. Trevor Hamilton spoke next on current BC data and gastric cancer. His slides can be downloaded here.
  4. After the morning break, Dr. Fergal Donnellan and Dr. Natalie Coburn spoke to "Palliation of Upper GI Tumours". You can download the presentation here
  5. Next up, Dr. Yarrow McConnell presented an interesting talk on Carcinomatosis.
  6. Dr. Andy McFadden finished up the morning sessions with his presentation on the "Management of Recurrent and Advanced Tumours, When Tumours are Resectable, and Multidisciplinary Management". You can download his presentation slides here.
  7. First up for the Lower GI Tract afternoon sessions was Dr. Erin Kennedy. She presented on the CPAC National Rectal Cancer Quality Improvement Initiative. Her presentation slides can be downloaded here.
  8. Drs. Carl Brown and Manoj Raval teamed up for the next talk on Transanal Excision of Rectal Cancer with a focus on real world cases. You can download the presentation files here. 
  9. Dr. Erin Kennedy presented again on "Treatment Decisions - Multimodality Treatment of Colorectal Cancer". Presentation here.
  10. The final talk of the day was from local surgeon Dr. Carl Brown on Synchronous Lesions. The presentation files can be downloaded here.

On October 18 2014, the SON hosted another successful Fall Update in downtown Vancouver at the Four Seasons Hotel. This year's event focused on breast cancer, specifically current controversies in 2014. 

View event program here.

Dr. JF Boileau, a surgical oncologist from Montreal, spoke on the current management of the axilla in breast cancer focusing on current indications for axillary node dissection and management of the patient with a positive sentinel node.

View Dr. Boileau's presentation here. 

Dr. Rebecca Warburton, a breast surgeon at Mt. St Joseph, presented on the new ASCO guidelines regarding margin recommendations for breast conserving surgery. 

View Dr. Warburton's presentation here.

Dr. Malcom Hayes, senior BC Cancer Vancouver breast pathologist, presented on the pathological basis of breast carcinoma. 

View Dr. Hayes' presentation here.

Dr. Michelle Goeke and Dr. Elaine McKevitt presented current BC breast cancer quality indicator data and discussed current quality indicators in surgical breast cancer care.

View Dr. Goeke and Dr. McKevitt's presentation here.

The current status of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAT) was presented by Dr. Christine Simmons, a medical oncologist from BC Cancer. 

View Dr. Simmons presentation here.

Dr. Lorna Weir, a radiation oncologist from BC Cancer Vancouver, presented on current radiotherapy issues for breast cancer care.

View Dr. Weir's presentation here. 

Dr. Frances Wright, a surgical oncologist from Toronto, presented on surgical management in the setting of neoadjuvant therapy (NAT). 

View Dr. Wright's presentation here.

Dr. Christine Wilson, BC Cancer radiologist, presented on screening mammography controversies. Covering issues such as overdiagnosis in breast cancer, and the availability of communication materials for helping women make informed decisions.

View Dr. Wilson's presentation here.

This year's meeting focused on endocrine cancers. On November 2, 2013,  BC Surgical Oncology Network hosted its Annual Fall Update. 

This one day course featured multiple topics in Endocrine Surgical Oncology. Below are the presentations and their authors from the meeting.  

Thyroid Session - Moderator: Dr. Sam Wiseman

Dr. Todd McMullen

  • Work Up & Evaluation of Thyroid Nodules In 2013: State of The Art
Dr. Blair Walker
Dr. John Hay
  • Adjuvant Therapy Of Thyroid Cancer In 2013
Panel Chair: Dr. Chris Baliski. Panel Members: Dr. Don Anderson, Dr. John Hay, Dr. Todd McMullen, Dr. Cord Sturgeon, Dr. Blair Walker, Dr. Sam Wiseman
  • Panel 1: Case Discussions

Parathyroid/Adrenal Session - Moderator: Dr. Sam Wiseman

Dr. Adrienne Melck

  • Adrenal Incidentaloma: Evidence Based Management

Dr. Cord Sturgeon

Dr. Todd McMullen
  • Surgical Management of Hyperparathyroidism In 2013: Is There An Ideal Approach? 
Dr. Nadine Caron
  • Complications Of Thyroid & Parathyroid Surgery: Approach & Treatment

Panel Chair: Dr. Andy McFadden, Panel members: Dr. Nadine Caron, Dr. Noelle Davis, Dr. Todd McMullen, Dr. Adrienne Melck, Dr. Cord Sturgeon, Dr. Ehud Ur, Dr. Sam Wiseman

  • Panel 2: Case Discussions

On October 20, 2012,  BC Surgical Oncology Network hosted its Annual Fall Update on Malignancies of the Lower GI Tract. This one day course featured multiple topics in surgical oncology. Below are the presentations from the meeting.  


Surgical technique and pathology

Dr. Paul Johnson

Total Mesocolic Excision

Dr. Terry Phang

Conventional vs. Extralevator Technique for Abdominoperineal Resection

Dr. James Filipenko

Pathology of Malignant Colon and Rectal Polyps

Dr. Anthony MacLean
Malignant Colon Polyps

Dr. Carl Brown

Transanal Resection of Rectal Neoplasms

Dr. Paul Johnson
Anal Cancers - Part 1

Dr. Devin Schellenberg

Anal Cancers - Part 2

Dr. Sarah Finlayson
Prophylactic Salpingo-Oophorectomy for Postmenopausal Women During Rectal Cancer Surgery

Uncommon cancers

Dr. Anthony MacLean
Uncommon GI Tumours

Dr. Hagen Kennecke
Diagnosis and Treatment of Neuroendocrine Tumours

Adjuvant Therapy

Dr. Hagen Kennecke

General Surgeon’s Guide to Chemotherapy for Colorectal Cancer

Dr. Jennifer Goulart
General Surgeon’s Guide to Radiotherapy for Rectal Cancer


Dr. Patrick Vos, Dr. Petter Tonseth
Imaging Choices in the Management of Colorectal Cancer - Part 1

Imaging Choices in the Management of Colorectal Cancer - Part 2


Dr. Robert Gryfe
General Surgeon’s Guide to Colorectal Cancer Genetics

Dr. Linlea Armstrong
Hereditary Cancer Program of British Columbia

Challenging cases

Multidisciplinary Panel
Challenging Cases: Panel Discussion

Dr. Rona Cheifetz
Challenging Cases: Reviewing the Evidence

Comprehensive care

Dr. Ahmer Karimuddin
Enhanced Recovery After Surgery: A BC Success Story

Dr. Carl Brown
Surveillance After Treatment of Colorectal Cancer

Dr. Terry Phang
Function and Quality of Life After Rectal Cancer Surgery


On October 22, 2011,  BC Surgical Oncology Network hosted its Annual Fall Update. This one day course featured multiple topics in surgical oncology. Below are the presentations from the meeting.  

Dr. Chris Baliski

Dr. Carl Brown/Dr. Elaine McKevitt

Dr. Rona Cheifetz

Dr. Paul Clarkson

Dr. Alexandra Easson

Dr. Urve Kuusk

Dr. Lloyd Mack

Dr. Lloyd Mack

Dr. Andrew McFadden

Dr. Elaine McKevitt

Dr. Jennifer Telford


The Surgical Oncology Network hosted a one day conference on Upper GI and Hepatobiliary Cancers at the Four Seasons Hotel on October 23, 2010. Below are the presentations from the meeting.

Dr. Abdul Al-Tourah

Dr. Silvia Chang

Isolated Liver Mass: Imaging and When to Biopsy

Dr. Rona Cheifetz

Dr. Rob Granger

  • Metastasis to the Liver and Unknown Liver Mass

Dr. Calvin Law

Pancreatic Conundrums, Benign and Malignant

Dr. Howard Lim

Dr. Greg McGregor

Dr. Charles Scudamore

Dr. Carol Swallow

Surgery of Gastric Cancer and Premalignant Lesions

Dr. Jennifer Telford


The Surgical Oncology Network hosted a one day conference on Breast Cancer at the Four Seasons Hotel on October 24, 2009. Below are the presentations from the meeting.

Dr. Tanya Berrang

Dr. Katherine Ceballos

Dr. Rona Cheifetz

Dr. Noelle Davis

Dr. Susan Ellard

Dr. Karen Gelmon

Dr. Urve Kuusk

Dr. Peter Lennox

Dr. David McCready

Dr. Geoffrey Porter

Dr. Audrey Spielmann

Dr. Scott Tyldesley

Dr. Lorna Weir

Dr. Christine Wilson

Percutaneous Stereo Core Biopsies: When, How and Often


Endocrine Surgical Oncology

On October 27, 2008 the Surgical Oncology Network hosted a one day education conference on Endocrine Surgical Oncology at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver, BC.


Dr. Sam Bugis

Dr. Chris Baliski

Dr. Barbara Melosky

Dr. Sabrina Gill

Dr. Rob Irvine

Chair: Dr. Nadine Caron, Members: Dr. Sam Wiseman, Dr. Rob Irvine, Dr. Orlo Clark, Dr. Sam Bugis

Dr. Orlo Clark

Dr. Tom Thomson

Dr. Rick Nason

Dr. John Hay

Dr. Sam Wiseman

Thyroid Cancer: Practical Molecular Biology For the General Surgeon

Chair: Dr. Sam Bugis, Members: Dr. Sam Wiseman, Dr. Rick Nason, Dr. Orlo Clark, Dr. Tom Thomson


The SON hosted a one day conference on Proximal GI Cancers on December 3rd, 2005. The following are copies of the presentations. Please click on the title of the presentation to open the PDF file.

Dr. Greg McGregor

Dr. David Huntsman

Dr. Alan Weiss

Dr. John Yee

Dr. Michael Humer

Dr. Carol Swallow

Dr. Barb Melosky

Panel Discussion


This session was held as part of the 2004 BC Cancer's annual conference and was hosted by the Surgical Oncology Network on Saturday, November 27.

The presentations and results from the pre and post test are available below.

Dr. Steven Latosinsky          

Dr. Allen Hayashi                 

Dr. Noelle Davis                   

Dr. Michelle Sutter               

Dr. Urve Kuusk                    

Dr. Lorna Weir                     

Dr. Maureen Leia-Stephen    

Dr. Peter Doris                    

Dr. Rona Cheifetz                

Pre and Post Test

Questions and Answers




Terms of Use

Presentations from previous Fall Updates are made available on this website for information purposes only.  Please note that all presentations represent the opinions of the speakers at that time, and viewers should review endorsed cancer surgery guidelines when making patient decisions.

Any clinicians consulting these presentations are expected to use independent medical judgment in the context of individual clinical circumstances to determine patient care or treatment. Use of this site and any information on it is at your own risk, and is subject to the BC Cancer Terms of Use

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