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Paul Karanicolas
Paul Karanicolas, MD, PhD, FRCS(C), FACS


Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Ave., Room T2 16
Toronto, ON
M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-4774
Fax: 416-480-6002

Clinical ProfileShow/hide details

Dr. Karanicolas is a surgical oncologist at the Odette Cancer Centre. His primary focus is on cancer involving the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, pancreas, and stomach. In particular, Dr. Karanicolas treats many patients with cancer of the colon or rectum that have spread to the liver. Dr. Karanicolas emphasizes maintenance or improvement in quality-of-life in the care of his patients in addition to cancer treatment.

Dr. Karanicolas leads several clinical trials at the Odette Cancer Centre with the goal of improving the experience and outcomes of patients have surgery for cancer. He is the head of the HPB CONCEPT Team, a national collaborative group dedicated to advancing the care of patients having liver or pancreas surgery.

Dr. Karanicolas is the surgical lead for the hepatic arterial infusion pump chemotherapy program at the Odette Cancer Centre. This is the only program of its kind in Canada and offers an additional therapeutic option for patients with colorectal liver metastases that can not be resected.

Dr. Karanicolas obtained his medical degree and general surgical training at the University of Western Ontario, with a PhD in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University. He completed advanced fellowship training in complex surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York prior to returning to his home of Toronto.

Research ProfileShow/hide details

Administrative Assistant: Cyril Manahan
Phone: 416-480-4774
Fax: 416-480-6002


  • MD, 2003, Western University, Canada
  • PhD, 2008, health research methodology, clinical epidemiology and biostatistics, McMaster University, Canada
  • Resident, 2009, general surgery program, Western University, Canada 
  • Fellowship, 2011, surgical oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, U.S.

Appointments and Affiliations:

  • Scientist, Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Odette Cancer Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Surgical oncologist, surgical oncology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Associate professor, department of surgery, and Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto

Research Foci:

  • Clinical trials in surgical oncology
  • Hepatopancreaticobiliary surgical outcomes
  • Quality of life in patients with cancer
  • Quality standards in the processes of care for hepatopancreaticobiliary cancer

Research Summary:

The focus of Dr. Karanicolas' research is designing and leading clinical trials in surgical oncology. He has spearheaded the establishment of the HepatoPancreaticoBiliary Community of Surgical Oncologists: Clinical, Evaluative, and Prospective Trials Team (HPB CONCEPT Team), a Canada-wide consensus-based framework for liver and pancreas cancer research. The HPB CONCEPT team's goals are to improve the care of patients with HPB cancers through investigator-initiated research and to provide a forum for developing high-impact clinical trials.

Dr. Karanicolas is the principal investigator on a grant funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to develop clinical trials on behalf of this group; he leads a national randomized controlled trial examining the impact of tranexamic acid on bleeding during liver resection.

As the Odette Cancer Centre site representative to the Canadian Cancer Trials Group, he is involved in several trials. Dr. Karanicolas also conducts research examining quality of life in patients undergoing surgery for cancer. His team is implementing an electronic framework to integrate patient education and assessment of quality of life into routine care. He is also examining the impact of surveillance following cancer resection on patient satisfaction and quality of life.

Dr. Karanicolas is the surgical lead for the hepatic arterial infusion pump chemotherapy program at the Odette Cancer Centre. This is the first program of its kind in Canada. It offers an additional therapeutic option for patients with colorectal liver metastases.

Selected Publications:

See current publications list at PubMed.

  1. Deobald RG, Cheng ES, Ko YJ, Wright FC, Karanicolas PJ. A qualitative study of patient and clinician attitudes regarding surveillance after a resection of pancreatic and peri-ampullary cancer. HPB (Oxford). 2015 May;17(5):409–15.
  2. Karanicolas P, Cleary S, McHardy P, McCluskey S, Sawyer J, Ladak S, Law C, Wei A, Coburn N, Ko R, Katz J, Kiss A, Khan J, Coimbatore S, Lam-McCulloch J, Clarke H. Medial open transversus abdominis plane (MOTAP) catheters for analgesia following open liver resection: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2014 Jun 21;15:241.
  3. Karanicolas PJ, Metrakos P, Chan K, Asmis T, Chen E, Kingham TP, Kemeny N, Porter G, Fields RC, Pingpank J, Dixon E, Wei A, Cleary S, Zogopoulos G, Dey C, D’Angelica M, Fong Y, Dowden S, Ko YJ. Hepatic arterial infusion pump chemotherapy in the management of colorectal liver metastases: expert consensus statement. Curr Oncol. 2014 Feb 1;21(1):e129–36.
  4. Karanicolas PJ, Graham D, Gönen M, Strong VE, Brennan MF, Coit DG. Quality of life after gastrectomy for adenocarcinoma: a prospective cohort study. Ann Surg. 2013 Jun 1;257(6):1039–46.
  5. Gould MK, Garcia DA, Wren SM, Karanicolas PJ, Arcelus JI, Heit JA, Samama CM; American College of Chest Physicians. Prevention of VTE in nonorthopedic surgical patients: antithrombotic therapy and prevention of thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Chest. 2012 Feb;141(2 Suppl):e227S–77S. Erratum in: Chest. 2012 May;141(5):1369.

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