The Division of Surgical Oncology strives to bring physicians of all disciplines together to provide excellence in clinical care, while expanding medical knowledge through research, innovation and education. They access the Cross Cancer Institute (CCI), which is the most advanced centre in the world for cancer molecular imaging.
In conjunction with the world-renowned Phase I Program of the Cross Cancer Institute Clinical Trial Unit, surgeons and oncologists work together to drive progress in the treatment of gynecologic, endocrine, urologic and gastrointestinal tumours. Clinical trials examine targeted therapies for thyroid cancer and for bladder cancer. Strong multidisciplinary collaborations are forged through joint investigations into advances in surgical care and into adjuvant therapies. For example, the use of lutetium therapy was pioneered at the Cross Cancer Institute through the work of a multidisciplinary group, which uses innovative clinical paradigms and basic benchtop research to better understand the processes of tumour growth and cell senescence, which allow tumours to evade chemotherapy.
The Division of Surgical Oncology members published more than 30 research papers in 2016-2017, describing innovative approaches to care in terms of surgical techniques, patient investigations and improved models for healthcare systems.
Working in partnership with the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the division continues to enhance surgical oncology research and the development of innovations in clinical care, including advances in diagnostics, wound dressings, and imaging.
The Surgical Oncology Program provides both didactic and operative training for medical oncology
and radiation oncology residents in all of the major surgical subspecialties, including head and neck oncology, thoracic, breast, upper gastrointestinal, colorectal and sarcoma surgery. Surgical residents rotate through the CCI, which combines clinical care with research. The Experimental Oncology Division at the institute offers a training component, which allows for the recognition of the value of translational research. Both surgical undergraduates and residents are exposed to the latest in endoscopic and robotic surgical
techniques, in partnership with the Ray
Rajotte Surgical Medical Research Institute.
For more junior trainees, Dr. Jonathan White has been a pioneer and world leader in the development of peer-to-peer and non-didactic methods of instruction for medical students and surgical trainees. His ‘Surgery 101’ website provides videos and notes, which have been viewed more than 4.5 million times worldwide. These training resources cover numerous surgical topics, including diagnosis, staging and treatment of cancers.
For established surgeons, Continuous Professional Development is supported through ongoing program development in surgical teaching and physician feedback.
Clinical and Facilities
The UAH, the CCI, and other hospitals in the Edmonton region represent tertiary and quaternary referral centres for Northern Alberta and Western Canada. As a result, complex surgical procedures, including breast oncoplastics, minimally invasive thoracic
surgery, gastrointestinal surgery, and procedures for neuroendocrine tumours and head and neck cancers can be performed at specialized high-volume sites, which allow specialization of care and the integration of research with