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Scientist profiles M-R

SRI Profiles

Kathleen Pritchard, CM, MD, FRCPC, FACP

Senior scientist

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Ave., Room M6 537
Toronto, ON
M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-5000, ext. 87024
Fax: 416-480-6002

Research Assistant: Sabina Trebinjac
Phone: 416-480-5000, ext. 87031
Fax: 416-480-6002
Email: sabina.trebinjac@sunnybrook.ca

Education:

  • B.A.Sc., 1968, Queen's University, Canada
  • MD, 1971, Queen's University, Canada
  • Research fellowship, 1974, tumour immunology, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Research fellowship, 1978, clinical trials in breast cancer, U of T

Appointments and Affiliations:

  • Senior scientist, Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Odette Cancer Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Professor emerita, department of medicine and Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, faculty of medicine, U of T
  • Medical oncologist, Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook
  • Chair/co-chair (1984–2007), past chair (2007–present), Canadian Cancer Trials Group Breast Cancer Site Group

Research Foci:

  • Breast cancer
  • Clinical trials
  • Predictive and prognostic factors
  • Correlative research

Research Summary:

Dr. Pritchard is a medical oncologist and clinical trials research scientist. Her areas of interest include multicentre clinical trials; adjuvant, biologic and hormonal therapy for breast cancer; correlative and translational research in breast cancer; banking of tumour, tissue, serum and data; and predictive and prognostic factors in breast cancer.

In 2005, Dr. Pritchard was awarded the O. Harold Warwick Prize for Cancer Control in Canada by the Canadian Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute of Canada for her work in clinical and translational trials in breast cancer.

As chair of the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Breast Cancer Site Group (now Canadian Cancer Trials Group), Dr. Pritchard has guided the development and performance of multicentre Canadian clinical trials of new therapies for women with breast cancer for more than 25 years.

Her research has included clinical trials and translational approaches in the areas of adjuvant therapy, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and optimal locoregional therapy for breast cancer. She has also been a member of the team conducting prevention trials comparing tamoxifen and raloxifene.

Some of Dr. Pritchard's achievements include the following:

  • First to show that tamoxifen is effective in premenopausal women with metastatic disease, and describe its role in postmenopausal adjuvant therapy.
  • One of the first to describe the frequency of thromboembolic complications associated with chemotherapy and tamoxifen, and to lead a randomized controlled trial of low-dose coumadin to prevent such thromboemboli.
  • Helped to develop the CEF regimen (cyclophosphamide, epirubicin and 5-fluorouracil), which became a standard adjuvant chemotherapy for premenopausal women with node-positive breast cancer in Canada.
  • Demonstrated the relationship between her-2-neu and Topo II overexpression and improved response to CEF compared to CMF (cyclophosphamide methotrexate fluorouracil) in the adjuvant therapy of breast cancer, thus helping to describe a new predictive factor in the adjuvant chemotherapy of breast cancer.
  • Led the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group, now the Canadian Cancer Trials Group Breast Cancer team, during the genesis, conduct and publication of a series of trials establishing the role of the aromatase inhibitors letrozole and exemestane as adjuvant therapy for estrogen-receptor-positive early breast cancer in postmenopausal women. These studies have been practice-changing in extending the role of tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors in early breast cancer.
  • Became a founding member and subsequently co-chair/chair of the Early Breast Cancer Trialist Collaborative Group. This group consists of an international consortium of trialists carrying out randomized studies of adjuvant therapy for breast cancer working with Sir Richard Peto and his team from Oxford University, U.K. This group organized the pooling of data from every randomized study of adjuvant systemic therapy and radiation therapy worldwide, resulting in many practice-changing publications that are still being produced. Dr. Pritchard has been pivotal in leading this group and forging the relationships between the international trialists and the Clinical Trials Support Unit at Oxford University.

Dr. Pritchard holds a major leadership role in national and international multicentre clinical trials. She is a frequent consultant for scientific and clinical groups, and a member of scientific advisory boards and independent data monitoring committees for clinical trials worldwide.

Dr. Pritchard is also widely published, including in The New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, The Journal of Clinical Oncology, The Lancet, and The Lancet Oncology. Dr. Pritchard serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, European Journal of Cancer, The Oncologist, Clinical Breast Cancer and The Breast.

Selected Publications:

See current publications list at PubMed.

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