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Virtual Hereditary Cancer Series

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Women's College Research Institute, with the Peter Gilgan Centre for Women's Cancers at Women's College Hospital in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society, are introducing a new virtual series of free one-hour seminars. This series will highlight the most relevant advances in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer research over the last several years, with a focus on topics that are important to women who carry a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. The speakers include leaders in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer research and treatment. The series is running from January 2021 until November 2021.

Hosted by:

Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Research Unit at

Women's College Hospital

Dr. Steven Narod

Dr. Kelly Metcalfe

Dr. Joanne Kotsopoulos

Dr. Mohammad Akbari

Please note: All webinars are from 12:00PM-1:00PM.

Series Schedule

Friday, January 15

Dr. Michelle Jacobson

Management of menopause after prophylactic oophorectomy

Dr. Michelle Jacobson is a general OBGYN and menopause specialist at Women’s College and Mount Sinai Hospitals in Toronto. She has a special interest in women who are prematurely menopausal due to cancer therapies and women with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndromes. She codirects the familial ovarian cancer program at Women’s College Hospital. She received her medical degree from Western University, her residency from McMaster University, and her fellowship in Menopause and Masters in Translational Research from the University of Toronto. She lives in Toronto with her two daughters and loves to travel when she can.

Friday, February 19

Dr. Andrea Eisen

PARP inhibitors for the prevention and treatment of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers

Dr. Andrea Eisen is a medical oncologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the head of the Odette cancer centre High Risk and Familial cancer program.

She has been involved in the care of individuals with hereditary cancer and cancer risk for over 25 years.

Friday, March 19

Dr. Ellen Warner

Screening for hereditary breast cancer

Dr. Ellen Warner is a medical oncologist at the Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Her large clinical practice and research are devoted exclusively to breast cancer. Dr. Warner led a multidisciplinary team of investigators who found that breast MRI added to mammography was much better than mammography alone for screening BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers and this research resulted in the creation of the High Risk Ontario Breast Screening Program. Dr. Warner is also founder and director of PYNK: Breast Cancer Program for Young Women at Sunnybrook. PYNK addresses the special clinical and research needs of women diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40 or younger.

Friday, April 16

Dr. Karen Glass

Fertility options for BRCA mutation carriers with and without a personal history of cancer

In 2002 Dr. Glass joined the CReATe Fertility Centre. She is their Director of Fertility Preservation. She is on staff at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Women’s College Hospital. She is Assistant Professor at University of Toronto. Dr. Glass has spoken all over Canada on Oncofertility. She sees young cancer patients from all over Ontario who require consultation and help with regard to fertility preservation.

Friday, May 14

Dr. Danny Vesprini

Does a BRCA mutation impact your risk of developing other cancers?

Dr. Danny Vesprini is a Radiation Oncologist who treats both prostate and breast cancer at the Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto, and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Toronto. He leads the Sunnybrook Male Oncology Research and Education (MORE) program which focusses on men at increased risk of developing prostate cancer, including men with a strong family history of the disease, men with a BRCA mutation and men of Caribbean/Western African heritage.

Friday, June 18

Dr. Kelly Metcalfe

Updates on the treatment of BRCA associated breast cancer

Dr. Kelly Metcalfe is a Professor in the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery, at the University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist at the Women’s College Research Institute. She currently holds the Bloomberg Professorship in Cancer Genetics and is the Associate Dean of Research. Dr. Metcalfe received her BScN in 1996 from the University of Western Ontario, and her PhD in 2002 from the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. Dr. Metcalfe’s research focuses on the prevention and treatment of breast and ovarian cancer in high risk women, most specifically those with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. She has led international studies resulting in seminal research papers on the topic of treatment of BRCA-associated breast cancer. Dr. Metcalfe is using those research findings to test new models of care to ensure that women have access to genetic testing at the time of cancer diagnosis to make informed decisions about treatments.

Friday, September 17

Dr. Joanne Kotsopoulos

Managing your risk of breast and ovarian cancer

Dr. Joanne Kotsopoulos is a Scientist with the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit at the Women’s College Research Institute, Women’s College Hospital and an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. Dr. Kotsopoulos directs a wide-range of research initiatives to further our understanding of BRCA-associated breast and ovarian cancer, with the goal of identifying viable strategies that confer substantial risk reduction and improve outcomes. Her studies have demonstrated an important role of hormonal, reproductive and modifiable exposures on BRCA-associated cancer development. This critical work has provided women and healthcare providers with evidence-based management options while contributing to our understanding of the pathogenesis of hereditary cancer. Additional interests are aimed at identifying prognostic factors for ovarian cancer, a highly fatal disease, and furthering our understanding of how variation in treatment may impact outcomes.

Friday, October 15

Dr. Steven Narod

Over 20 years of research … what have we learned?

Dr. Steven Narod is a Canadian clinician-scientist who directs the Familial Breast Cancer Clinic at Women's College Hospital. He is a professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. He is a senior scientist at Women’s College Research Institute, where he has led the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit for the past 25 years. He has established an international study of 17,000 women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. He has shaped our current knowledge of how to assess breast and ovarian cancer risk and how to reduce cancer mortality among carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, including screening, prevention, and treatment. With more than 900 publications, Dr. Narod is one of the most influential cancer researchers in the world.

Friday, November 19

Emma Rinaldo

Talking to your family about carrying a BRCA mutation

Please note: The Eventbrite registration process will allow you to select one date at a time.

Please visit our website for more information on our Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Research Unit:

Women's College Research Institute

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Organizer The Peter Gilgan Centre for Women’s Cancers at WCH

Organizer of Virtual Hereditary Cancer Series

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