Current Research

The clinical research program includes research in thoracic oncology, pulmonary hypertension, benign lung and esophageal diseases and lung transplantation. Our research studies include in-house programs in malignant pleural mesothelioma, esophageal cancer, lung cancer, malignant pleural effusions, primary pulmonary hypertension, achalasia and gastroesophageal reflux disease. These include prospective clinical trials, retrospective studies and translational projects. The lung transplantation program includes in- house, industry-funded, and NIH funded multi-centre trials.

In oncology, we participate in cooperative group trials through National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group (NCIC-CTG), American College of Surgeon Oncology Group (ACOSOG) and with our Radiation Oncology Colleagues, the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG).

Our investigators and just some of their areas of interest:

Dr Thomas K. Waddell: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)Bone marrow-derived lung stem cells in lung transplantation

Lung cancer systems of care

Dr Shaf Keshavjee: ThymomaEx-vivo lung perfusion for assessment and repair of donor lung for transplantation
Dr Marc De Perrot: Primary pulmonary hypertensionMalignant pleural mesothelioma
Dr Kazu Yasufuku: Endobronchial ultrasound transbronchial needle aspirate of mediastinal lymph nodes for staging of NSCLCEarly detection of NSCLC

BUS-TBNA for assessment of mediastinal abnormalities

Dr Gail Darling: Esophageal cancerMicro RNA in esophageal cancer

Regionalization of thoracic surgery

Quality of life in esophageal cancer

Symptoms and quality of life in GERD

Dr Andrew Pierre: Use of minimum dose CT in follow-up for non-small cell lung cancer
Dr. Marcelo Cypel: Extracorporeal life supportIn vivo lung perfusion for oligometastatic lung metastases

Our current clinical trials group is composed of 6 Clinical Research Coordinators and 1 Research Clerk.

Jennifer Lister (currently on Maternity Leave)
Frances Allison
Judy Horneck
Katherine Zeman
Alexandra Salvarrey
Brenda O’Sullivan
Sassan Azad
Karen Roman

Our current or recently completed clinical trials include:

Early Stage NSCLC

  • Surgery for Early Lung Cancer with Preoperative Erlotinib (Tarceva): A Clinical Phase II Trial (SELECT)
  • A Phase III Randomized Trial of Lobectomy Versus Sublobar Resection For Small (≤2cm) Peripheral non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NCIC-CTG BRC.5)
  • Prospective controlled trial of mediastinoscopy compared with endobronchial ultrasound guided transbronchial needle aspiration for assessment of the mediastinum in lung cancer

Post-Op Studies for NSCLC

  • Mininimum Dose CTs for Follow-up of Lung Cancer
  • A Phase III Randomized Trial of Adjuvant Chemotherapy with or without Bevacizumab for Patients with Completely Resected Stage IB ( >  4 cm) -IIIA Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) (NCIC-CTG BRC.2)
  • A Multi-center, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Phase 3 Study of Single-agent Tarceva® (erlotinib) Following Complete Tumor Resection with or without Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Patients with Stage IB-IIIA Nonsmall Cell Lung Carcinoma who have EGFR-positive Tumors (RADIANT)
  • Role of Endobroncheal Ultrasound (EBUS) in detecting mediastinum/hilar recurrence of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after curative resection
  • Comparison of the Outcome of Patients with Stage IIIa NSCLC with N2 disease Treated with Surgery and Post-Op Radiochemotherapy vs Radiotherapy alone

Malignant Pleural Effusions

  • A prospective study of patient centered outcomes in the management of malignant pleural effusions


  • Phase II Study of Trimodality Therapy for Patients with Thymoma at Significant Risk of Recurrence

Esophageal Disease

  • A Prospective Patient-Based Analysis of the Epidemiology and Treatment Patterns of Achalasia
  • Does Health Related Quality of Life Predict Choice of Therapy for Reflux Symptoms?

Esophageal Cancer

  • A comparison of the FACT-E and EORTC QLQ-C30 in assessing quality of life in patients with esophageal cancer
  • Adjuvant Sutent Following Chemoradiotherapy and Surgery for Esophageal Cancer, A Phase II Trial (ASSET)
  • Esophageal Resection for Cancer, Where Do We Stand?
  • MicroRNA Expression Profiling of Esophageal Cancer


  • Phase II Study of Neo-adjuvant Pemetrexed plus Cisplatin followed by Surgery and Radiation Therapy for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
  • A Pilot Study Evaluating Short Neoadjuvant Hemithoracic Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy for Surgically Resectable Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Lung Transplant

  • Normothermic EX VIVO Lung Perfusion (EVLP) for an Improved Assessment of Donor Lungs for Transplantation –HELP
  • Bone marrow-derived lung stem cells: Identification and characterization
  • ALN-RSV01-109: A Multicenter, Multinational, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study to Evaluate the Efficacy & Safety of Aerosolized ALN-RSV01 plus Standard of Care in Lung Transplant Patients Infected with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)-
  • Inflammatory Response to H1N1 (IR-H1N1) Study:Use of XCeed inflammation chip as a predictor for outcome in patients presenting with Influenza like Illness (ILI) to Emergency Room
  • A Multi-center, Randomized, Controlled Study to Demonstrate the Efficacy and Safety of Cyclosporine Inhalation Solution (CIS) in Improving Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome-Free Survival Following Lung Transplantation-CYCLIST

Other Clinical Trials:

  • A Clinical Investigation of Safety and Efficacy of the Novalung Interventional Lung Assist (iLA) System as a Bridge to Lung Transplantation
  • The Effects of Regionalization on Volume and Outcome in Canadian Thoracic Surgical Procedures
  • The Effect of Immunosuppression on Short and Long Term Outcomes for Lung Cancer Surgery
  • Clinical Outcomes of Patients with Resected Metachronous Lung Cancer
  • Outcome after pulmonary metastasectomy for colon carcinoma
  • Genetic alterations in samples obtained by mediastinoscopy
  • A Comparison of VATS vs. Open Lobectomy in Resected Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer