Scientist profiles A-F

SRI Profiles

Lisa Barbera, MD, MPA

Cross-appointed senior scientist

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Odette Cancer Centre, Department of Radiation Oncology
2075 Bayview Ave.
Toronto, ON
M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-4974
Fax: 416-480-6002

Administrative Assistant: Barb Zurowski
Phone: 416-480-4806


  • B.Sc., 1991, University of Toronto, Canada
  • MD, 1995, University of Ottawa, Canada
  • MPA, 2002, Queen’s University, Canada

Appointments and Affiliations:

  • Senior scientist, Evaluative Clinical SciencesOdette Cancer Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Associate professor, department of radiation oncology, U of T
  • Radiation oncologist, Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook
  • Senior adjunct scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
  • Clinical lead, patient reported outcomes and symptom management, Cancer Care Ontario

Research Focus:

  • Cancer health services research

Research Summary:

Dr. Barbera's main area of interest is health services research in cancer. Her primary expertise is in using large administrative health datasets to study health care service use.

Health service use at end of life in cancer patients
Health service use at the end of life at a population level can reflect the quality of end-of-life care. Services such as hospitalization, location of death, emergency department visits or palliative care service use are measureable with administrative data. Dr. Barbera has studied these services extensively in Ontario and is funded by the Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control for a four-province comparison study.

Patient reported outcomes and symptom management
Dr. Barbera has spent the last several years evaluating the impact of patient-reported symptoms by the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale on health service use at a population level. She has been recently funded by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research to evaluate the management of pain in cancer patients in the province on Ontario. She has been funded by the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute to evaluate the impact implementing a province wide system of symptom screening. Dr. Barbera is also the provincial lead for patient reported outcomes and symptom management at Cancer Care Ontario.

Gynecologic cancers

Dr. Barbera’s clinical expertise is radiation therapy for gynecologic cancers. She has completed a population-based study of the management of vulvar cancer in Ontario.

She is also interested in sexual health after treatment for cancer. She chaired the Program in Evidence-Based Care Working Group, which created a guideline addressing sexual function in cancer survivors.

Selected Publications:

See current publications list at PubMed.

  1. Barbera L, Seow H, Sutradhar R, Chu A, Burge F, Fassbender K, McGrail K, Lawson B, Liu Y, Pataky R, Potapov A. Quality indicators of end-of-life care in patients with cancer: What rate is right? J Oncol Pract. 2015 May;11(3):e279–87.
  2. Gien LT, Sutradhar R, Thomas G, Covens A, Elit L, Rakovitch E, Fyles A, Khalifa MA, Liu Y, Barbera L. Does a groin node dissection in vulvar cancer affect groin recurrence and overall survival?: Results from a population-based cohort study. Gynecol Oncol. 2017 Feb;144(2):318–323.
  3. Barbera L, Zwaal C, Elterman D, McPherson K, Wolfman W, Katz A, Matthew A; Interventions to Address Sexual Problems in People with Cancer Guideline Development Group. Interventions to address sexual problems in people with cancer. Curr Oncol. 2017 Jun;24(3):192–200. DOI:10.3747/co.24.3583. Epub 2017 Jun 27. PMID: 28680280
  4. Sutradhar R, Lokku A, Barbera L. Cancer survivorship and opioid prescribing rates: A population-based matched cohort study among individuals with and without a history of cancer. Cancer. 2017 Aug 7. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.30839. Epub ahead of print.
  5. Barbera L, Sutradhar R, Chu A, Seow H, Howell D, Earle CC, O'Brien MA, Dudgeon D, Atzema C, Husain A, Liu Y, DeAngelis C. Opioid prescribing among cancer and non-cancer patients: Time trend analysis in the elderly using administrative data. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2017 Jul 19. PII: S0885-3924(17)30280-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.07.017. Epub ahead of print.

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