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Pamela J. Goodwin, MD, MSc, FRCPC

University of Toronto/Mount Sinai Hospital
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Titles and Affiliations

Professor of Medicine
Director, Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre
Marvelle Koffler Chair in Breast Research

Research area

Preventing recurrence in patients with early-stage, hormone-receptor positive breast cancer.


Earlier diagnosis and more effective treatments have led to better outcomes for women diagnosed with hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer. In spite of this, they face a continuing risk of relapse that extends for many years. Dr. Goodwin is conducting a study of tumor- and patient-related factors that may be associated with late recurrence in women who are completing or recently completed adjuvant hormonal therapy. Successfully identifying predictors of imminent risk of recurrence could lead to interventions that will lower this risk and improve the outcomes of women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Progress Thus Far

Dr. Goodwin’s team has reached its goal of enrolling 500 women who were treated for HR-positive breast cancer and have not yet experienced a distant recurrence. The team is now analyzing blood and clinical information that will allow them to identify environmental and lifestyle factors, such as stress, physical activity, trauma, surgery, and medication use, that may be related to recurrence as well as blood-based markers, such as circulating tumor cells (CTCs), that may predict risk of recurrence.

What’s next

Dr. Goodwin will continue annual follow-up (collecting blood samples, patient questionnaires, and recording cancer events) until 25 recurrences are identified. Importantly, in the upcoming year, Dr. Goodwin and her team will collect patient-reported outcomes about the medical, psychological, and lifestyle impact of breast cancer from patients who are five years after diagnosis They will conduct analyses to determine any associations of patient and circulating factors with the presence (or absence) of CTCs. Dr. Goodwin’s work will inform future research in this area and may lead to novel interventions to lower the risk of late recurrence.


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 von Mandl Family Foundation Award