Anna Spreafico, MD, PhD

Dr. Spreafico is Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and Staff Medical Oncologist and Clinician Investigator in the Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network. Dr. Spreafico's previous training includes: a PhD in translational research in the Program for Evaluation of Targeted Therapies at the University of Colorado, USA, and a subspecialty fellowship in head and neck cancer and experimental therapeutics in the Bras Phase I Program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Dr. Spreafico is the Head and Neck Medical Oncology Disease Site Lead and Clinician Investigator within the Tumor Immunotherapy Program. She also serves as the Director of the Phase I Drug Development Fellowship at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

Dr. Spreafico's full-time academic practice and her research focus on early drug development and phase I clinical trials, with disease-specific interests in melanoma, skin and head and neck cancers. Nationally and Internationally, Dr. Spreafico collaborates with major Institutions including Canadian Cancer Trials Group and the US NCI Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program. She is the Principal Investigator of numerous early phase, first-in-human and first-in-class trials and investigator-initiated biomarker-driven studies for which she holds large-scale peer review funding including the Canadian Cancer Society and Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She is the recipient of several national and international awards and, in the last five years, has published >50 peer-reviewed publications in widely cited journals.

From a translational research aspect, Dr. Spreafico has extensive experience in clinical trial design with a focus on immune-oncology, biomarker-driven investigator-initiated studies that incorporate relevant correlative studies to evaluate mechanisms of antitumour activity and resistance.

Precision medicine and experimental therapeutics to develop new anticancer strategies to increase disease control and cure rates. This includes several investigator-initiated studies of novel agents and/or combinations, particularly in the immune-oncology field. As an example, Dr. Spreafico is the Co-Chair of the international prospective, curative intent, chemo-sparing approach, Canadian-led HN.9 trial, in patients with human papilloma virus-related squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx. Through ongoing collaboration with the US National Cancer Institute, she develops and leads heavy biomarker-driven, immunotherapy-based early phase clinical trials.

Biomarker discovery with a particular focus on microbiome and cancer interception studies in immuno-oncology. Dr. Spreafico has established active intra and extra-mural collaborations with microbiome experts and leads observational and interventional studies, with first-in-human novel agents, to evaluate the role of the oral and intestinal microbiome in head and neck and cancer patients receiving chemo-radiation and immune-radiation as well as patients with advanced solid tumours undergoing immunotherapy. Dr. Spreafico's research expands with intra and extramural funding to prospectively analyze intestinal microbiome and autoimmune cytokine panels to predict immune-mediated toxicity in patients undergoing immunotherapy, and cancer-interception trials in patients with resected melanoma who are at high risk of relapse to identify predictive biomarker of responsiveness to guide clinical decision-making.

Research supervision and mentorship of next generation of translational researchers. Dr. Spreafico serves as director of the Drug Development Program Fellowship at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. In collaboration with the North America Star Consortium and within the US National Cancer Institute Experimental Therapeutics Clinical Trials Network, Dr. Spreafico is developing a leadership training course for early career investigators to help provide a solid foundation of soft skills needed for a successful research career.

For a list of Dr. Spreafico's publications, please visit PubMed or Scopus.