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The goal of the Surgical Oncology Network is to establish a structure and a system to enable the integration of quality surgical oncology services into the formal cancer care system.

The four main mandates of the Network include:

  1. Developing communications tools to enhance surgical decision making provincially;
  2. Participating in the identification and/or development of peer- reviewed, evidence-based guidelines based on 'best practice' principles;
  3. Developing a high quality continuing education program that meets standards of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons; and
  4. Conducting regionally based research and outcome analyses to provide vital information for Network initiatives.

The specific objective of the ROE (Research Outcomes and Evaluation Committee) Research Project Program is to identify and enable projects that support the mandates of the Surgical Oncology Network.  This program can be used to support a variety of initiatives including obtaining data for early stage pilot or feasibility studies as well as communication or education initiatives.  While the Surgical Oncology Network does not provide direct funding in the form of grants, it will provide in-kind administrative and organizational support for approved projects.  

Project Application and Guidelines

Eligibility Requirements

  • All members of the Surgical Oncology Network are invited to apply.  
  • The project leader in the project must be a surgeon practicing oncology.  External participants may be included in the project proposal as co-applicants. 
  • The proposed project must be directed towards supporting one of the four functions of the Surgical Oncology Network.

View the complete Project Proposal Guidelines here

There is a two-stage application process:

Stage 1: Feasibility Application

A Project Feasibility Application must be submitted by email to the SON Research and Outcomes Evaluation Committee ( The Feasibility Proposal will be reviewed by the ROE Committee Chair and Coordinator. If approved, applicants will be invited to submit a full application. Applicants will be notified within 4-6 weeks.

Please provide the following information:

  • Title of Proposed Project
  • Name of Project Leader, Team Members and Contact Information
  • Brief description of proposed project, including expected duration/timeline (maximum 1 page)

Stage 2: Submission of Full Project Proposal (invited applications only)

The full application will include the following:

  1. Cover page: including the proposed title of the project, project leader (name affiliation, telephone, fax, e-mail) and team members (name affiliation, telephone, fax, e-mail).
  2. Project Overview: (half page maximum) stating the objectives of project and the approach, highlighting the expected significance of the work. This must indicate how the research proposal fits with the objectives of the Surgical Oncology Network.
  3. Commitment to Project: Indicate the number of hours total that the project leader and co-investigators intend to devote to the project described in the present application. Also indicate any other resources that you will commit to this project, e.g. graduate student time, administrative assistant time.
  4. Resources Requested: Estimate how much support you anticipate that you will require from the SON for this project. Please be as specific as possible, for example, indicate what kind of support you will require and the estimated number of hours. For example, data entry, 20 hours.
  5. Duration: Indicate the expected duration of this project, including any relevant milestone or deadlines. Please include any submission deadlines for meetings or grants.
  6. Project Proposal: Limited to a maximum of two pages, with one additional page for figures if necessary. Minimum acceptable font size is 12 point. State the project objectives; background and significance of project; relevance of this project and implications for the improvement of surgical oncology; outline of the research plan, including methodology used; clear exclusion/inclusion criteria, if relevant; criteria to measure the success of the project; plans to disseminate results (proposed journals or meetings).
  7. Short CV of applicant(s):Include the following:
    • Address and current position of the applicant, indicating start date in that position.
    • Publication record of applicant
    • List of all grants currently held and applied for, including the source of funding, time period of funding, grant title and the amount of funding.
    • A statement of the relationship of this project to these other ongoing projects and grants

Please submit the proposal electronically to the SON Research and Outcomes Evaluation Committee Coordinator at

Contact Information 
Colleen McGahan, MSc
ROE Committee Coordinator
Biostatistician, Surgical Oncology Network
Tel: 604-877-6000 Ext.3068
2015 Publications

1.    McColl, RJ, McGahan CE, Cai E, Olson R, Cheung WY, Raval MJ, Phang PT, Karimuddin AA, Brown CJ. Impact of Hospital Volume on Quality Indicators for Rectal Cancer Surgery in BC. Am J Surg. 2016. Aug;212(2).

2.    Hughes, L., Hamm, J., McGahan, C., Baliski, C. Surgeon Volume, Patient Age, and Tumor-Related Factors Influence the Need for Re-Excision After Breast-Conserving Surgery. Ann Surg Oncol (2016). doi:10.1245/s10434-016-5602-8.

2014 Publications 

3. Christopher Baliski, Colleen E. McGahan, Caitlyn M. Liberto, Sandra Broughton, Susan Ellard, Marianne Taylor, Janet Bates, Anky Lai. Influence of nurse navigation on wait times for breast cancer care in a Canadian regional cancer center. The American Journal of Surgery. May 2014; 207 (5): 686-692.

4. Jutzi L, Russell D, Ho S & Kwon JS. The role of palliative colorectal stents in gynaecologic malignancy. Gynecologic Oncology. 2014;134:566-9. The volume is 134, issue 3.

5.     Kwon JS, McGahan C, Dehaeck U, Santos J, Swenerton K, Carey MS. The Significance of Combination Chemotherapy in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer. Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2014 Feb;24(2):226-32.

2013 Publications

6.     Faulds J, McGahan C, Phang PT, Raval M, Brown C. Differences Between Referred and Non-Referred Patients in Cancer Research. Can J Surg 2013 56(5)E136-E141

7.     Dehaeck U, McGahan CE, Santos JL, Carey MS, Swenerton KD, Kwon JS. The Impact of Geographic Variations in Treatment on Outcomes in Ovarian Cancer. Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2013 Feb;23(2):282-7.

2012 Publications 

8. Jason Faulds, Carl Brown and Colleen McGahan. Differences Between Referred and Non-Referred Colorectal Cancer Patients. Manuscript accepted Canadian Journal of Surgery. 

9. Shaila Merchant, Rona Cheifetz, Margaret Knowling, Fareeza Khurshed and Colleen McGahan. Practice referral patterns and outcomes in patients with primary retroperitoneal sarcoma in British Columbia. The American Journal of Surgery. May 2012; 203 (5): 632-638.

10. Eeson, G., Chang, N., McGahan, C. E., Khurshed, F., Buczkowski, A. K., Scudamore, C. H., Warnock, G. L. and Chung, S. W. Determination of factors predictive of outcome for patients undergoing a pancreaticoduodenectomy of pancreatic head ductal adenocarcinomas. HPB. 2012; 14: 310–316. 

11.     Liberto C, Baliski C, McGahan C, Broughton S, Taylor M. Comparison of Breast Cancer Treatment Wait Times in the Southern Interior BC in 2006 and 2010. Canadian Journal of Surgery. 2012; 55 (supp): 140 (abstract).

2011 Publications 

12. P. Terry Phang, Ryan Woods, Carl J. Brown, Manoj Raval, Rona Cheifetz and Hagen Kennecke. Effect of systematic education courses on rectal cancer treatments in a population. The American Journal of Surgery. 2011; 201: 640–644.

2010 Publications 

13. P. Terry Phang, Rona Cheifetz, C.J. Brown, Manoj Raval. Revisiting rectal cancer management in British Columbia. BCMJ. December 2010; 52 (10): 510-551.

14. P. Terry Phang, Colleen E. McGahan, Greg McGregor, John K. MacFarlane, Carl J. Brown, Manoj J. Raval, Rona Cheifetz and John H. Hay. Effects of change in rectal cancer management on outcomes in British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Surgery. 2010; 53 (4): 225-231. 

15. Phang PT. Evolving rectal cancer management in BC. Canadian Journal of Surgery. 2010; 53: 222-224.

2007 Publications

16. Pinsk I, Phang PT. Total mesorectal excision and management of rectal cancer. Expert Rev Anticancer Therapy. 2007; 7:1395-1403.

2006 Publications

17. Cheifetz R, Phang PT. Evaluating learning and knowledge retention after a continuing medical education course on total mesorectal excision for surgeons. American Journal of Surgery. 2006; 191: 687-690.

2004 Publications

18. Phang PT. TME techniques. Canadian Journal of Surgery. 2004; 47: 130-137.

2003 Publications

19. P. Terry Phang, Martina Strack, Barbara Poole. Proposal to improve rectal cancer outcomes in BC. BCMJ, September, 2003; 45 (7):330-335.

20. Phang PT, MacFarlane J, Taylor R, Cheifetz R, Davis N, Hay J, et al. Practice patterns and appropriateness of care for rectal cancer management in BC. BCMJ. Sept 2003;45(7):324-329. 

21. Phang PT, Law J, Toy E, Speers C, Paltiel C, Coldman A. Pathology audit of 1996 and 2000 reporting for rectal cancer in BC. BCMJ. Sept 2003; 45(7):319-323. 

22. Phang P, MacFarlane J, Taylor R, Cheifetz R, Davis N, Hay J, et al. Effect of emergent presentation on outcome from rectal cancer management. American Journal of Surgery, 2003; 185(5):450-454. 

23. Richard C, Phang P, McLeod R, Group CAoGSEBRiS. Canadian Association of General Surgeons Evidence Based Reviews in Surgery. 5. Need for preoperative radiation in rectal cancer. Preoperative radiotherapy combined with total mesorectal excision for resectable rectal cancer. Canadian Journal of Surgery. Feb. 2003; 46(1):54-56.   

2002 Publications

24. Phang PT, MacFarlane J, Taylor RH, et al. Effects of positive resection margin and tumor distance from anus on rectal cancer treatment outcomes. American Journal of Surgery.  2002; 183:504-508.

CPAC Intern and Breast Cancer Project (Dr. Elaine McKevitt)

This project, which began in March 2016, aims to provide baseline information about the quality of the delivery of breast cancer surgery in BC. An intern analyst was appointed with the support of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) to assist with the initiative, which utilizes the CIHI DAD that was obtained from the MoH. The project will show if and where breast cancer care variations exist within BC and it will be the starting point to improve delivery of care and outcomes within surgical oncology. A report on the findings of the project will soon be available.

Cystectomy Outcomes Based on Surgeon and Location Case Volume in BC (Dr. Peter Black)

Radical cystectomy is the standard of care for all muscle invasive bladder cancer and for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer resistant to intravesical therapy. This study's central objective is to explore the survival outcomes of radical cystectomy according to surgeon and hospital case volume in BC between 2002 and 2012. It aims to examine, using the CIHI DAD, the relationship between readmission rates and overall survival on the one hand, and surgeon and hospital case volume on the other hand, while controlling for clinicopathologic variables. The team is currently in the process of gaining access to the staging data from the various health authorities, which will then need to be linked to the CIHI data. 

A Retrospective Study Comparing Post-Operative Outcomes of FIT Screened Vs. Symptomatic Patients with Colorectal Cancer  (Dr. Manoj Raval et al)

This project will compare patients who have had cancers detected through FIT screening with those diagnosed from symptoms only, to determine whether screening had an impact on the stage, treatment, and outcomes for patients with colorectal cancer. Some preliminary data has already been presented at the Canadian Surgical Forum (CS, and the group is currently looking to obtain additional data for analysis.

The Accuracy of Endorectal Ultrasound in Staging Rectal Neoplasms in TEM patients (Dr. C. Brown)

The objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of endorectal ultrasound (ERUS) in determining the tumour stage of rectal neoplasms in preoperative transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) patients.The study will look at the wait times for breast cancer care at Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Centre for the Southern Interior. 

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