You are here

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 that can guide treatment options in newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.
Women diagnosed with early stage estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer have a very good 5-year prognosis, but the risk of recurrence can linger for as much as 20 years. Dr. Goodwin is conducting studies to identify biomarkers that can inform doctors and patients early of a high risk of recurrence, while preventive measures can be taken.

Full Research Summary

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 that the cancer will recur, and their risk may be as high as 2-3 percent per year, depending on initial tumor stage.

The goal of Dr. Goodwin's BCRF study is to identify markers in patient blood and lifestyle factors that may be associated with breast cancer recurrence. Her team is analyzing circulating DNA and inflammatory markers in blood and collecting information on patient stress, diet, physical activity, medication use, trauma, and surgery in women who have recently completed adjuvant hormonal therapy.

They are in the process of initiating a clinical trial and hope to ultimately enroll up to 2500 women for analysis of the blood to identify factors that are associated with 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.

Grid Reasercher Headshot - Goodwin Pamela

BCRF Investigator Since


Donor Recognition

The HBC Award