Dr Torsten Nielsen
Bernard and Francine Dorval Prize co-recipient in 2012
Dr Torsten Nielsen is an international leader in the development of new diagnostic tools and predictive clinical tests that lead to improved treatments. His research focus is in the areas of breast cancer and musculoskeletal tumours.
The goals of Dr Nielsen’s research are to develop systemic treatments for musculoskeletal tumours and to develop practical clinical tests to identify aggressive subtypes of breast cancer. His research has already led to the adoption of new diagnostic and prognostic tests and to clinical trials in North America.
Dr Nielsen is a professor in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine and the associate director of the MD/PhD program at the University of British Columbia. He is a clinician-scientist at the BC Cancer Agency and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. He also contributes to the planning of clinical trials for the Canadian Cancer Society’s NCIC Clinical Trials Group and the U.S.-based Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology.
Dr Nielsen is a highly productive and well published researcher, including a landmark 2002 article on the molecular characterization of soft tissue tumours, which is still among the most heavily cited papers in soft tissue pathology. Dr Nielsen is committed to public service, teaching and education and works to communicate the work being done in his lab with the broader community.
I’m extremely grateful to the Canadian Cancer Society for funding my research with an Innovation Grant.
Great progress has been made
Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.