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Pamela J. Goodwin, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Professor of Medicine
Director, Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre
Marvelle Koffler Chair in Breast Research
University of Toronto/Mount Sinai Hospital
Toronto, Ontario

Current Research

  • Seeking to prevent breast cancer recurrence in patients diagnosed with early stage breast cancer.

  • A clinical study is conducted to measure factors in blood that may predict the risk of future recurrence.

  • This research may identify new biomarkers to predict risk of recurrence that can guide treatment options in newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.

Although the vast majority of women diagnosed with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer are free of disease at 5 years, these women face a continuing risk of relapse for at least 20 years, and their risk may be as high as 2-3 percent per year, depending on initial tumor stage.

Dr. Goodwin's team is investigating blood and patient-related factors (including stress, diet, physical activity, medication use, trauma, surgery, circulating DNA, and inflammatory and metabolic factors) that may be associated with late recurrence within the one to two years of diagnosis in women who have recently completed adjuvant hormonal therapy.

If the studies uncover factors that predict imminent risk of late recurrence, she will initiate clinical trials designed to prevent these recurrences. Initial efforts will involve protocol development, establishment of collaborations, demonstration of feasibility of recruitment (including optimal approaches to recruitment), and collection of patient information and blood samples from 150 women.

She hopes to ultimately enroll up to 2500 women for analysis of the blood to identify factors that are associated with imminent risk of late recurrence.

In a separate study, Dr. Goodwin is collaborating with BCRF investigator Lois Shepherd on studies to determine the chemopreventive potential of the diabetes drug, metformin. 


Pamela Goodwin has been involved in research relating to host factors in breast cancer for over 25 years. Early in her career, she became intrigued with the possibility that patient-related factors, especially obesity, might impact outcomes of women diagnosed with breast cancer. She began a research program that has focused on the role of these factors, including obesity, nutrition, exercise and related factors. She has led studies which investigate the complex interactions between body size, nutrition, exercise and physiologic mediators such as insulin, IGF-I and vitamin D, examining their impact on risk and survival. Dr. Goodwin has expanded this work to investigate the status of long-term breast cancer survivors and the influences of hereditary factors, vitamin D and metformin on outcomes. She currently leads the international Phase III trial (NCIC MA.32) examining the impact on breast cancer outcomes of an insulin lowering drug, metformin, and has an active translational research program examining the interface between host factors and tumor biology in both early and advanced disease.

Dr. Goodwin is Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, with cross appointments in Health Policy, Management and Evaluation and in the School of Graduate Studies. She is a Senior Investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, Director of the hospital's Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre and holds the Marvelle Koffler Chair in Breast Research. She is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, has published over 170 research articles, and is active in the clinical management of breast cancer patients.

BCRF Investigator Since


Donor Recognition

The HBC Award