BPG is committed to discovery and dissemination of knowledge
Editorial Board


DEPARTMENT OF PEDIATRICS: Division of Hematology/Oncology (Emeritus Professor)

RESEARCH INSTITUTE PROGRAM: Child Health Evaluative Sciences Program (Emeritus Associate Senior Scientist)

 

Helen S.L. Chan MB, BS (Hong Kong 1971), FRCP(C), FAAP, Order of Ontario.

 

Department University of Toronto and Hospital for Sick Children

Professor Department of Pediatrics

Phone: 416-813-7753

Fax: 416-813-5327

Email: hslchan@attglobal.net

 

Brief Biography

2015-present Emeritus Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto

2015-present Emeritus Associate Senior Scientist

2015-present Emeritus Staff, Division of Hematology-Oncology

Associate Senior Scientist, Child Health Evaluative Sciences Program, Research Institute, HSC

2007-2015 Consultant in Pediatrics (Neonatology), Mount Sinai Hospital

1996-2015 Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto

1989-96 Associate Professor, Dept of Pediatrics, University of Toronto

1979-2015 Staff, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Dept of Pediatrics, HSC

1989-present Graduate Faculty, Inst of Medical Sciences, University of Toronto

1979-82 Lecturer, Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto

1978-79 Research Assistant in Hematology, HSC

1977 Pediatric Hematology-Oncology fellow, HSC, Toronto

1976 Pediatric Oncology fellow, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto

1975 Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellow, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA

1973-74 Pediatric Resident, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

1971-72 Intern & Pediatric Resident, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hong Kong

  1966-71 University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Medicine

 

Research Interests

Multidrug resistance in childhood cancers

Reversal of multidrug resistance in childhood cancers

Retinoblastoma

Multicenter International Clinical Trials

Outreach Retinoblastoma Program “One Retinoblastoma World” (Kenya ProjectP

 

Research Activities

Dr. Chan’s major focus of research is in the area of multidrug resistance in childhood cancers, and especially in the field of the rare childhood eye cancer retinoblastoma, both in the laboratory and in the clinical arena. Dr. Chan’s Laboratory is focusing on the biologic and genetic events that “drive” pediatric cancer progression. Dr. Chan is the acknowledged expert who brought about the worldwide resurgence of the use of chemotherapy for the treatment of retinoblastoma, thereby greatly improving the results of saving the eyes, vision and lives of young children with retinoblastoma, and avoiding radiation-induced secondary cancers and cosmetic deformities. Collaborating with Drs. Brenda Gallie and Elise Heon, Dr. Chan is currently the Principal Investigator, Originator, and Coordinator of a 2003-2009 Ontario Institute for Cancer Research-funded and 2010-2012 Terry Fox Research Institute-funded International Multicenter Trial in using the reversal of multidrug resistance to improve the response, without increasing the toxicity, of chemotherapy for children with retinoblastoma, a successful treatment in which she has already shown on a smaller scale in clinical trials at the Hospital for Sick Children since 1991. For the Kenya Retinoblastoma Project, Dr. Chan is funded by The TUYF Charitable Trust 2012-2014 (PI Dr. Chan; Co-PI Dr. Gallie), with matching funds from The Anna-Liisa and Graham Farquharson Fast Foundation 2012-2014 (PI Dr. Gallie; Co-PI Dr. Chan). Dr. Chan co-directs the world-renown Retinoblastoma Program with Dr. Gallie, and is consulted on retinoblastoma problems worldwide. From 1990 to 1996, Dr. Chan held a National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC) Research Scientist Career Award, from 1991-1994, a NCIC Terry Fox Program Expansion Award, and from 1993-1996, a Terry Fox Program Project Award in which she was Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Victor Ling. She has published extensively in many areas, and in 2007 had a book published by the University Press of Mississippi, “Understanding Cancer Therapies”. Together with Dr. Gallie, Dr. Chan has expanded her retinoblastoma her work globally, in the “One Retinoblastoma World” Program, to help end death and blindness from retinoblastoma starting in Kenya and expanding to Africa and the less developed world. On January 28, 2010, Lieutenant Governor David C. Onley awarded Dr. Chan with the Order Of Ontario. Dr. Chan was one of 29 appointees receiving Ontario's Highest Honor in 2010, with this official citation, “Dr. Helen Chan of Toronto, an internationally renowned clinical oncologist, is recognized for her breakthrough treatment of retinoblastoma in children, a rare cancer of the eyes”. On January 28, 2010, Lieutenant Governor David C. Onley awarded Dr. Chan with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, for significant achievement and remarkable service for my research and contributions in retinoblastoma, at the 18 June 2012 Diamond Jubilee Gala Celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Life of Service, at Roy Thomson Hall.

 

Innovations  

  • Dr. Chan is the acknowledged expert who brought about the worldwide resurgence of the use of chemotherapy for the treatment of retinoblastoma, thereby greatly improving the results of saving the eyes, vision and lives of young children with retinoblastoma, and avoiding radiation-induced secondary cancers and cosmetic deformities.
  • First Retinoblastoma Multicenter International Clinical Trial.
  • Publication of the National Retinoblastoma Strategy: Canadian Guidelines For Care.
  • Publication of the National Retinoblastoma Strategy: Guidelines Through Standard Operating Procedures.

 

Representative Publication 2006-2012

1. Dimaras H, Kimani K, Dimba EAO, Gronsdahl P, White A, Retinoblastoma379(9824):1436-46, 2012

2. Ashwin MC, Dimaras H, Chan HSL, Héon E, Gallie BL. Periocular topotecan for intraocular retinoblastoma. Archives of Ophthalmology, 129:738-745, 2011.

3. Zhao J, Dimaras H, Massey C, Xu X, Huang D, Li B, Chan HSL, Gallie BL. Pre-enucleation chemotherapy for eyes severely affected by retinoblastoma masks risk of tumor extension and increases death from metastasis. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 29(7):845-51, 2011,.

Dimaras H, Rushlow D, Halliday W, Doyle J, Babyn P, Abella E, Williams J, Héon E, Gallie BL, Chan HSL. Using RB1 mutations to assess minimal residual disease in metastatic retinoblastoma before stem cell transplant. Translational Research, 156(2):91-7; August 2010. Epub June 25, 2010.

5. Gallie BL, Gronsdahl P, Dimaras H, Weizblit N, Astle W, Bendali N, Bhal A, Bowles E, Budning A, Carret AS, Chan HSL, Chudley A, Clark I, Crooks B, Downie R, Erraguntla V, Green J, Halliday W, Hamel P, Héon E, Hope G, Ingram A, LaRoche R, Leat S, Livingstone M, Mallipatna A, McKay J, Paton K, Robitaille J, Scott Lane L, Strahlendorf C, Superstein R, Sutherland J, Ulster A, Valenzuela A, and Vasquez LM. National Retinoblastoma Strategy. Canadian Guidelines For Care. Volume 44, Supplement 2, Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology, December S2:1-88, 2009.

Gallie BL, Zhao J, Vandezande K, White A, Chan HSL. Global issues and opportunities for optimized retinoblastoma care. Pediatr Blood Cancer Dec: 49 (7 Suppl): 1083-90, 2007.