July, 2024
July 2024
Oncologist Near Me – Lillian Siu: Curiosity-Driven Cancer Innovator
Jul 11, 2024, 12:02

Oncologist Near Me – Lillian Siu: Curiosity-Driven Cancer Innovator

Oncologist Near Me: Lillian Siu

Welcome to OncoDaily’s special section “Oncologist Near Me”, where we introduce prominent oncologists from around the world.

Here, you can get to know the leading cancer specialists in your area, including both personal and professional details that you won’t find in their research articles.

Interested solely in research? We’ve got that covered too! Discover top research articles by the author, learn about their academic achievements, awards, and honors, watch their interviews, and memorize some quotes for much-needed inspiration!

We’ve curated the internet to find the most important information about them. If you have more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

Lillian Siu, MD, FRCPC, FASCO

Lillian Siu is a leading cancer specialist in the field of oncology and drug development. Dr. Siu is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and serves as a senior medical oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network. She is the President-Elect of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) for 2024-2025.

Lillian Siu is the President-Elect of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) for 2024-2025.

She has been a member of the AACR since 1996 and was recently elected as a Fellow of the AACR Academy. She is a member of the AACR International Canada Board of Directors and AACR Finance and Audit Committee and a former member of the AACR Board of Directors. She has been invaluable in shaping AACR annual meetings by serving as co-chair in 2016, and 2012. She will serve as chair of the AACR’s 2025 annual meeting program committee.

Dr. Sue has offered valuable guidance as a member of several AACR committees, including The Asian-American Task Force since 2023, The Clinical Trials Advisory Council (2023-present), The International Affairs Committee (2018-2020), The Regional Advisory Committee on Canada (2016-2019), Woman in Cancer Research Council (2013-2016), Clinical and Translational Cancer Research Grants Committee (2010), etc.

Additionally, Siu has contributed to the AACR’s journals by serving as the editor-in-chief of Cancer Research Communications (since 2021), a member of the Publications Committee (since 2016), and a scientific editor of Cancer Discovery (from 2011 to 2021).

Dr. Siu served on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) for a four-year term (2012-2016). She was the ASCO Conquer Cancer Foundation Grants Selection Committee Chair in 2009-10. She is on the editorial board for JAMA Oncology

Lillian Siu was the Co-Chair of the Nomination Committee of the Yvonne Award 2024 by OncoDaily.

Currently, Dr. Siu is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto (since 2009) and serves as a senior medical oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network. She directs the Phase I Clinical Trials Program and co-directs the Robert and Maggie Bras and Family Drug Development Program.

Dr. Siu also leads the Tumor Immunotherapy Program and holds the BMO Chair in Precision Cancer Genomics at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto.


Dr. Siu’s primary research area centers on the development of novel anticancer drugs, with a particular emphasis on phase I clinical trials and the treatment of head and neck malignancies.

Throughout her career, Siu has contributed significantly to the development of cytotoxic agents, targeted therapies, and immunotherapies. She provides scientific and clinical direction for protocol design and implementation, with a focus on innovative trial methodologies. Siu has led numerous investigator-initiated early-phase trials exploring resistance mechanisms to immune checkpoint blockade.

In addition to her active research in early-phase clinical trials, she has taken the lead in genomics initiatives and immuno-oncology trials at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

The path to Oncology

Lillian Siu earned her medical degree at the University of Toronto. During her 2nd year of medical school, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. After the diagnosis, Siu accompanied her to hospitals for 12 years. This period had a profound effect on Dr. Siu’s career. In an interview with UHN Research Lillian Siu said: “I felt very comfortable in the environment and it started to feel like home. Then I knew it was my calling to study cancer.”

Following her path, Dr. Siu completed a fellowship in Oncopharmacology at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and a Clinical Research Fellowship in New Drug Development at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

Lillian Siu on mentorship

Dr. Siu underscores the significance of mentorship in her career and emphasizes the importance of mentors who prioritize the development of young investigators and early-career scientists. She learned from scientists like Dr. Gail Eckhardt, Dr. Eric Winer, and Dr. Dan Von Hoff, along with the San Antonio team, who guided her, encouraged original thinking, and provided invaluable opportunities for growth.

Now, Dr. Siu is doing the same for the next generation of medical oncologists. Since 2009, she has served as a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, guiding and mentoring dozens of junior investigators. Dr. Siu believes that effective mentorship involves nurturing independent thinking and creativity in mentees, alongside executing assigned projects.

“As a leader, we won’t always be in our prime, so one of the most successful things we can do is to train the next generation effectively, creating a legacy of individuals who become world leaders themselves,” said Lillian Siu.

Honors and Awards

Recognition of Dr. Siu’s contributions has come in various forms, including the recent honor of receiving the 2024 David Karnofsky Memorial Award from ASCO, which highlights her exceptional dedication and impact.

Other awards:

  • Dr. Joseph Pater Founder’s Award (2024)
  • Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (2023)
  • Canadian Cancer Trials Group Maria Ricci Lectureship (2023)
  • 100 Influential Women in Oncology by OncoDaily (2023)
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology International Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award (2020)
  • European Society for Medical Oncology Targeted Anticancer Therapies Honorary Award (2020)
  • University of Toronto Michael Hutcheon Mentor Award (2017)
  • Eaton Research Scholar Researcher of the Year (2016)
  • Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (2015)
  • National Cancer Institute Michaele C. Christian Oncology Development Lectureship and Award (2010)
  • Elsie Winifred Crann Memorial Trust Award in Medical Research (2001)

Lillian Siu with Joseph Pater at CCTG 2024

Others about Lillian Siu

Dr. Siu’s visionary leadership as a researcher and clinician has led to transformative advancements in cancer research and patient care.” Margaret Foti, CEO AACR

Lillian Siu with Pat LoRusso, Phil Greenberg, and Margaret Foti (right to left)

Interviews with Lillian Siu

OncoInfluencers: Dialogue with Lillian L. Siu, hosted by Gevorg TamamyanOncodaily, 2024

2024 Karnofsky Award winner Lillian Siu talks about her career in phase I studies, ctDNA, & her mentor’s evil red pencilThe Cancer History Project, 2024

Interview with Dr. Lillian SiuCancer Quest

Meet Lillian L. Siu, MDASCO Connection, 2012

Top 10 papers by Lillian Siu*

  1.  Chen X, Siu LL. Impact of the media and the internet on oncology: a survey of cancer patients and oncologists in Canada. J Clin Oncol. 2001 Dec 1;19(23):4291-7. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2001.19.23.4291. PMID: 11731511.
  2. Yee KW, Pater JL, Pho L, Zee B, Siu LL. Enrollment of older patients in cancer treatment trials in Canada: why is age a barrier? J Clin Oncol. 2003 Apr 15;21(8):1618-23. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2003.12.044. PMID: 12697888.
  3. Soulieres D, Senzer NN, Vokes EE, Hidalgo M, Agarwala SS, Siu LL. Multicenter phase II study of erlotinib, an oral epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell cancer of the head and neck. J Clin Oncol. 2004 Jan 1;22(1):77-85. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2004.06.075. PMID: 14701768.
  4. Townsley CA, Selby R, Siu LL. Systematic review of barriers to the recruitment of older patients with cancer onto clinical trials. J Clin Oncol. 2005 May 1;23(13):3112-24. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2005.00.141. PMID: 15860871.
  5. Sridhar SS, Hedley D, Siu LL. Raf kinase as a target for anticancer therapeutics. Mol Cancer Ther. 2005 Apr;4(4):677-85. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163. MCT-04-0297. PMID: 15827342.
  6. Le Tourneau C, Lee JJ, Siu LL. Dose escalation methods in phase I cancer clinical trials. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009 May 20;101(10):708-20. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djp079. Epub 2009 May 12. PMID: 19436029; PMCID: PMC2684552.
  7. Bedard PL, Hansen AR, Ratain MJ, Siu LL. Tumour heterogeneity in the clinic. Nature. 2013 Sep 19;501(7467):355-64. doi: 10.1038/nature12627. PMID: 24048068; PMCID: PMC5224525.
  8. Cescon DW, Bratman SV, Chan SM, Siu LL. Circulating tumor DNA and liquid biopsy in oncology. Nat Cancer. 2020 Mar;1(3):276-290. doi: 10.1038/s43018-020-0043-5. Epub 2020 Mar 20. PMID: 35122035.
  9. Malone ER, Oliva M, Sabatini PJB, Stockley TL, Siu LL. Molecular profiling for precision cancer therapies. Genome Med. 2020 Jan 14;12(1):8. doi: 10.1186/s13073-019-0703-1. PMID: 31937368; PMCID: PMC6961404.
  10. Bedard PL, Hyman DM, Davids MS, Siu LL. Small molecules, big impact: 20 years of targeted therapy in oncology. Lancet. 2020 Mar 28;395(10229):1078-1088. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30164-1. PMID: 32222192.

*Most cited papers, where Lillian Siu is the first or last author according to Google Scholar

Quotes from Lillian Siu


  • “The most important person for us is our patient”
  • “Knowing we can do our work without having to worry about funding allows us to think much bigger and bolder.”
  • “It’s crucial to have people in the field who prioritize the development of young investigators and early-career scientists.”
  • “Curiosity is a powerful tool. If we always take everything we are taught for granted, it’s very hard to change and improve the field.”
  • “Perseverance and tenacity are essential for success. With the will to overcome challenges, one can often find a solution, even if only partial.”
  • “How do you prove to somebody that you’re not threatened by it? You do better. It is more important for me to demonstrate what I can do than to promise you what I can do.”

Beyond the White Coat

Apart from work Dr. Siu likes to do kickboxing, it helps her to relieve stress and keep her mind fresh. She also loves to travel and one of her favorite destinations is a city called Carmel By the Sea in California, close to San Francisco. Additionally, she makes time for reading, finding solace and inspiration in her top three favorite books (see below).

  1. The Art of Medicine by Dr. Hopping Kong
  2. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking  by Malcolm Gladwell
  3. In Shock: My Journey from Death to Recovery and the Redemptive Power of Hope by Rana Awdish

How to contact her?

Email: [email protected]
Location: 610 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5G 2M9


  1. Lillian L Siu, MD, FRCPC, University Health Network
  2. Meet Dr. Lillian Siu, University Health Network
  3. Meet Lillian L. Siu, MD, (10/29/2012), ASCO Connection
  4. Lillian L. Siu, MD, FRCPC, FASCO, FAACR, Named 2024–2025 AACR President-Elect, (3/19/2024), The ASCO Post
  5. Lillian L. Siu, MD, FAACR, Elected as American Association for Cancer Research President-Elect for 2024-2025, (3/15/2024), AACR
  6. TAT 2020 Honorary Award: a Recognition in Cancer Drug Development to Lillian Siu, (02/11/2020), ESMO
  8. 100 Influential Women in Oncology: Key Opinion Leaders to Follow on Social Media in 2023 (10/30/2023), OncoDaily
  9. Lillian Siu Honored with the 2024 ASCO David Karnofsky Memorial Award, (03/22/2024), OncoDaily
  10. OncoInfluencers: Dialogue with Lillian L. Siu, hosted by Gevorg Tamamyan (03/22/2024), OncoDaily

See also:

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