Room 1195, Department of Clinical Neurosciences
1403 29th Street NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 2T9
Email: jgcairnx [at] ucalgary [dot] ca
gregory [dot] cairncross [at] calgaryhealthregion [dot] ca
Dr. Gregory Cairncross is Professor and Head of the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary and holder and first recipient of the Alberta Cancer Foundation Chair in Brain Tumor Research.
He graduated cum laude in Medicine from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario in 1974. After medical school, he pursued postgraduate training in Internal Medicine at the University of Toronto and Neurology at Cornell University Medical College in New York City. Subsequently, he was a MRC Centennial Fellow in Tumor Biology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Faculty member in Neurology at New York Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In 1982, he joined the Departments of Oncology and Clinical Neurological Sciences at the University of Western Ontario, where he remained until 2002. At Western, Dr Cairncross was leader of the brain tumor research program (1982-1996), Head of the Division of Neurology (1996-1998), Chair of the Department of Oncology (1998-2002) and Director of the Cancer Centre (1998-2002). In 2002, he was recruited to the University of Calgary. Dr Cairncross founded and co-leads the Brain Tumor Section of the National Cancer Institute of Canada, Clinical Trials Group.
Dr Cairncross is best known for his research contributions to the field of neuro-oncology. In 1988, he and Dr David Macdonald discovered that oligodendrogliomas, a type of brain cancer, are sensitive to chemotherapy. A decade later, he and Dr David Louis discovered a molecular marker of chemosensitivity and long survival in this type of brain cancer. Testing for allelic loss of chromosomes 1p and 19q is now used worldwide to assist in the diagnosis and care of patients with oligodendrogliomas. This discovery has also provided a new framework for basic research in neuro-oncology and brain tumor clinical trials.
Dr Cairncross has published extensively on brain tumor biology and therapy, writings which have been cited over 6,000 times. He is a past recipient of Farber Award for Brain Tumor Research of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Research Award of Excellence of the American Association for Brain Tumor Research and the Merit Award of the European Association of Neuro-Oncology. In 2007, he was appointed Director of the Clark H. Smith Brain Tumor Centre at the University of Calgary.
His current research interests include the detection of genetic signatures in gliomas using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the identification of clinically relevant molecular markers in glial tumors.
Cairncross JG, Macdonald DR: Successful chemotherapy for malignant oligodendroglioma. Ann Neurol 23: 360‑364, 1988.
Cairncross G, Macdonald D, Ludwin S et al: Chemotherapy for anaplastic oligodendroglioma. J Clin Oncol 12: 2013-2021, 1994.
Cairncross JG, Ueki K, Zlatescu MC et al: Specific genetic predictors of chemotherapeutic response and survival in patients with anaplastic oligodendrogliomas. J Natl Cancer Inst 90: 1473-1479, 1998.
Megyesi JF, Kachur E, Lee DH et al: Imaging correlates of genetic signatures in oligodendrogliomas. Clin Cancer Res 10: 4303-4306, 2004.
Stupp R, Mason WP, van den Bent MJ et al: Radiotherapy plus concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. N Engl J Med 352: 987-996, 2005.
Hegi ME, Diserens A-C, Gorlia T et al: MGMT gene silencing and response to temozolomide in glioblastoma. New Engl J Med 352: 997-1003, 2005.
Cairncross G, Berkey B, Shaw E et al: A randomized clinical trial of chemotherapy plus radiotherapy (RT) versus RT alone for pure and mixed anaplastic oligodendroglioma. J Clin Oncol 24: 2707-2714, 2006
Brown, R., Zlatescu, M., Sijben, S., Roldan, G., Easaw, J., Forsyth, P., Parney, I., Sevick, R., Yan, E., Demetrick, D., Schiff, D., Cairncross, J. & Mitchell, J. Detecting Genetic Signatures in Oligodendroglioma Non-Invasively Using MR, Clinical Cancer Research (in press).