David Stewart MD FRCPC

Chief and Head of the Division of Medical Oncology

Dr. Stewart returned from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX) in August, 2011 to assume the position of Head of the Division of Medical Oncology at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa. He received his MD degree from Queen’s University, Kingston, followed by training in Internal Medicine at McGill University and in medical oncology in the Department of Developmental Therapeutics at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. He first moved from MD Anderson to the University of Ottawa and the Cancer Care Ontario Ottawa Regional Cancer Center in 1980, and served as Chief of Medical Oncology at the Ottawa Civic Hospital from 1989 to 1999. He returned to the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center from 2003 to 2011 where he served as Chief of the Section of Experimental Therapeutics (2003-2005), Chair Ad Interim (2005), Deputy Chair (2006-2009), and Director of Translational Research (2009-2011). He was also the Principle Investigator of MD Anderson’ phase II N01 contract with the National Cancer Institute, and was the clinical leader of a number of other federally-funded translational research project.

His primary focus clinically is therapy of advanced lung cancer. He has published more than 290 peer-reviewed papers, and edited the text Lung Cancer: Prevention, Management and Emerging Therapies published in 2010. His primary area of research interest is personalization of therapy using tools that include phase I and II clinical trials, studies of plasma pharmacokinetics and tumor and normal tissue uptake of chemotherapy agents, resistance mechanisms, resistance modulation, and host single nucleotide polymorphisms and tumor biomarkers that correlate with treatment outcome and prognosis. He has also published on the importance of raising the efficacy bar in clinical research, of fixing current regulatory problems that impede research without adding value, and of doing correlative studies starting from the earliest days of clinical development of a drug, in order to better identify patients who are most and least likely to benefit. He is strongly committed to the concept of a Molecular Medicine Laboratory at the Ottawa Hospital that enables genetic characterization of tumors, thereby permitting choice of the optimal therapy approaches for individual patients.