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Faculty Member

Geoffrey Liu MD MSc

Email Address(es)
Office Phone
416-946-4501 x 3428
Office Address
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre/Princess Margaret Research Institute PMCRT-101 College St, Rm. 11-704, Toronto, ON M5G 1L7
UHN Profile, COMBIEL: Cancer Outcomes Medicine Biostatistics Informatics Epidemiology Laboratory
Epidemiology Division
SGS Status
Full Member
Appointment Status
Status Only

Research Interests

  • Pharmacogenetic Epidemiology of Cancer Outcomes
  • Cancer Survivorship
  • Molecular Epidemiology of Cancer
  • Methods Research in Biomarker and Correlative Science of Clinical Trials
  • Methods Research in Performing Large Scale Molecular Epidemiologic Studies of Outcome in Head and neck, Gastroesophageal, Lung, Hepatobiliary and pancreatic, and Testicular cancers, Thymomas and Mesotheliomas
  • Methods Research in Large Scale Collection of Cancer Patient Reported Outcomes Integration of outcomes and epidemiological research to improve pharmacogenetic
  • Knowledge Translation Research in Pharmacogenetics
  • Machine Learning for Cancer Electronic Health Databases
  • Natural Language Processing for Cancer Electronic Health Databases

Education & Training History

B.Sc. University of Toronto, Biochemistry/Human Biology

M.D. University of Toronto

M.Sc. University of Toronto, Clinical Epidemiology

Other Affiliations

  • Canadian Society of Epidemiology and Biostatistics – Member
  • Pharmacogenetics Research Network – Affiliate Member
  • International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology (ISPE) – Fellow
  • National Lung Cancer Partnership (formerly Women Against Lung Cancer) – Lifetime Member
  • International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer – Member
  • Molecular Epidemiology Group, AACR – Member
  • American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) – Member
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) – Member

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

  • Pharmacogenetic Epidemiology
  • Introduction to Pharmacoepidemiology (Interdepartmental Course Coordinator)
  • Supervision of students and post-doctoral fellows
  • COMBIEL training: co-Director

Professional Summary & Appointments

  • Professor, Departments of Medicine, Medical Biophysics, Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Epidemiology, University of Toronto, and Dalla Lana School of Public Health
  • Co-Director, COMBIEL, Cancer Outcomes, Medicine, Biostatistics, Informatics Epidemiology and Laboratory Interdisciplinary Training Initiative, Princess Margaret Hospital and Ontario Cancer Institute
  • Co-Director, On-PROST, Ontario Patient Reported Outcomes of Symptoms and Toxicity, Applied Clinical Research Unit
  • Director, Applied Molecular Profiling Pharmacogenetic Epidemiology Laboratory (AMPPEL)
  • Alan B. Brown Chair in Molecular Genomics, Princess Margaret Hospital and Ontario Cancer Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
  • Staff Physician, University Health Network, Toronto, ON
  • Staff Physician, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON

Honours & Awards

  • COMBIEL, Innovation in Education Award, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, 2020
  • Fellow, International Society of Pharmacoepidemiology, 2018
  • Medical Oncology Divisional Research Award, University of Toronto, 2017
  • Department of Medicine Goldie Award (Research), University of Toronto, 2016
  • Alan B. Brown Chair in Molecular Genomics, Princess Margaret Hospital
  • Cancer Care Ontario Chair in Experimental Therapeutics and Population Studies 2009-2014
  • 2008 William E. Rawls Award, National Cancer Institute of Canada


Current Research Projects


Representative Publications

11 of over 350 peer-reviewed. Underlined are Liu lab trainees/members


  1. Lam AC, Aggarwal R, Huang J, Varadi R, Davis L, Tsao MS, Shepherd FA, Lam S, Kavanagh J*, Liu G*. Point-Of-Care Spirometry Identifies High-Risk Individuals Excluded from Lung Cancer Screening. Am J Respir Crit Care Med . 2020 Jul 16;202(10). This publication provides data to support point-of-care spirometry to improve the selection of patients for lung cancer screening.
  2. Shepshelovich D, Xu W, Lu L, Fares A, Yang P, Christiani D, Zhang J, Shiraishi K, Ryan BM, Chen C, Schwartz AG, Tardon A, Schabath MB, Teare MD, Le Marchand L, Zhang ZF, Field JK, Brenner H, Diao N, Xie J, Kohno T, Harris CC, Wenzlaff AS, Fernandez-Tardon G, Ye Y, Taylor F, Wilkens LR, Davies M, Liu Y, Barnett MJ, Goodman GE, Morgenstern H, Holleczek B, Brown MC, Liu G*, Hung RJ. Body Mass Index (BMI), BMI Change, and Overall Survival in Patients With SCLC and NSCLC: A Pooled Analysis of the International Lung Cancer Consortium. J Thorac Oncol. 2019 Sep;14(9):1594-1607. This is the first publication of the Clinical Outcomes Studies of the International Lung Cancer Consortium (COS-ILCCO), where the coordinating centre is at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (G Liu is the lead coordinator and data management group). The consortium now has over 35,000 patients across 24 studies harmonized in its database, and at the time of publication of this manuscript, ~25,000 cases had been harmonized over 16 studies for this particular analysis. *Corresponding author.
  3. Ren J, Xu W, Su J, Ren X, Cheng D, Chen Z, Bender N, Mirshams M, Habbous S, de Almeida JR, Perez-Ordonez B, Goldstein DP, Wang JR, Bratman SV, Huang SH, Jang R, Zhao Y, Waterboer T, Hung RJ, Liu G. Multiple imputation and clinico-serological models to predict human papillomavirus status in oropharyngeal carcinoma: An alternative when tissue is unavailable. Int J Cancer. 2020 Apr 15;146(8):2166-2174. This study utilized multiple imputation models to predict missing HPV status in older epidemiological studies.
  4. Shi R, Filho SNM, Li M, Fares A, Weiss J, Pham NA, Ludkovski O, Raghavan V, Li Q, Ravi D, Cabanero M, Moghal N, Leighl NB, Bradbury P, Sacher A, Shepherd FA, Yasufuku K, Tsao MS, Liu G. BRAF V600E mutation and MET amplification as resistance pathways of the second-generation anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor alectinib in lung cancer. Lung Cancer. 2020 Aug;146:78-85. This study identified specific resistance pathways for ALK mutated lung cancer after pharmacologic treatment using tyrosine kinase inhibitors, utilizing a patient derived xenograft model.
  5. Martins-Filho SN, Weiss J, Pham NA, Li Q, Cabanero M, Fares A, Stewart EL, Shi R, Patel D, Pal P, McConnell J, Bradbury PA, Sacher AG, Leighl NB, Grindlay A, Allison F, Li M, Yasufuku K, Shepherd FA, Moghal N, Tsao MS, Liu G. EGFR-mutated lung adenocarcinomas from patients who progressed on EGFR-inhibitors show high engraftment rates in xenograft models. Lung Cancer. 2020 Jul;145:144-151. This study identified primary derived xenograft factors of engraftment in EGFR-mutated lung cancer post-treatment models
  6. Aggarwal R, Lam ACL, McGregor M, Menezes R, Hueniken K, Tateishi H, O’Kane GM, Tsao MS, Shepherd FA, Xu W, McInnis M, Schmidt H, Liu G,* Kavanagh J*. Outcomes of Long-term Interval Rescreening With Low-Dose Computed Tomography for Lung Cancer in Different Risk Cohorts. J Thoracic Oncol. 2019 Jun;14(6):1003-1011. Epub 2019 Feb 13. Impact Factor 13.4. This manuscript demonstrates that lung cancer screening by low dose CT scan can be stratified by the underlying risk stratification process into different risk cohorts. The clinical impact is to demonstrate that continued screening after 4-5.5 years is still relevant, especially when using a risk stratification model.
  7. Kavanagh J, Liu G, Menezes R, O’Kane GM, McGregor M, Tsao M, Shepherd FA, Schmidt H. Importance of Long-term Low-Dose CT Follow-up after Negative Findings at Previous Lung Cancer Screening. Radiology. 2018 Oct;289(1):218-224. Epub 2018 Jul 10. Impact Factor 7.469. The only long-term follow-up study of lung cancer screening by CT scan after a gap in screening of over 5 years that shows the importance of continued longitudinal screening. The NELSON and NLST randomized trials had screening periods of only 3-4 years. 2. Demonstrates the impact of Lung-CALIBRE. Impact on discipline: Currently the Canadian recommendations for screening are for only three annual screens in participants who are between the ages of 50 and 74 years of age. These data should re-open the national discussion to consider screening over additional years.
  8. Ren J, Yang W, Su J, Ren X, Fazelzad R, Albert T, Habbous S, Goldstein DP, de Almeida JR, Hansen A, Jang R, Bratman SV, Hope A, Chen R, Wang J, Xu Y, Cheng D, Zhao Y, Xu W, Liu G. Human papillomavirus and p16 immunostaining, prevalence and prognosis of squamous carcinoma of unknown primary in the head and neck region. Int J Cancer. 2019 Sep 15;145(6):1465-1474. This study utilized our Princess Margaret Head and Neck Translational Study data, demonstrating the importance of HPV p16 staining in unknown primary cancers in the head and neck cancer region.
  9. Habbous S, Chu KP, Lau H, Schorr M, Belayneh M, Ha MN, Murray S, O’Sullivan B, Huang SH, Snow S, Parliament M, Hao D, Cheung WY, Xu W, Liu G. Human papillomavirus in oropharyngeal cancer in Canada: analysis of 5 comprehensive cancer centres using multiple imputation. CMAJ. 2017 Aug;189(32):E1030-E1040. Impact Factor 7.7 (Trainee publication, Trainee publication, GL supervised SH, KPC). Cross-Canada study of oropharyngeal cancer and Human Papilloma Virus status, that.highlighted the impact of the massive increase of HPV as a cause of head and neck cancer in Canada. The 2016 report on Canadian Cancer Statistics by the Canadian Cancer Society devoted a special section on HPV-related disease. Because there were no registry data on the proportion of oropharyngeal cancers that were HPV positive, the statistics guide made an assumption that all new oropharyngeal cancers were HPV positive. With the publication of our manuscript, we have demonstrated that this may be an underestimation of the rate of increase of HPV within oropharyngeal cancers in Canada. We demonstrated that the proportion of oropharyngeal cancers that were HPV positive continued to rise even in recent years; thus, the proportion of HPV-negative tumours were falling, which had not been taken into account statistically. This underestimation can have significant effects on resource allocation for long term morbidity and survivorship issues (e.g. HPV-positive cancer patients have significantly improved overall survival than HPV-negative cancer patients, but are often left with debilitating permanent swallowing and scarring issues that require health care resources).
  10. Liu, G, Cuffe S, Liang S, Azad AK, Cheng L, Brhane Y, Qiu X, Cescon D, Bruce J, Chen Z, Cheng D, Patel D, Tse BC, Laurie SA, Goss G, Leighl NB, Hung R, Bradbury PA, Seymour L, Shepherd FA, Tsao MS, Chen BE, Xu W, Reisman DN. BRM Promoter Polymorphisms and Survival of Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients in the Princess Margaret Cohort and CCTG BR.24 trial. Clin Cancer Res. 2017 May;23(10):2460-2470. This study demonstrates the synergistic utilization of both clinical trial and observational data in the AMPPEL laboratory. This is the first study to have replication datasets showing the prognostic benefit of BRM polymorphisms. The magnitude of prognostic impact of this polymorphism is in the same range as that of clinical staging.
  11. Liu G, Tu D, Lewis M, Cheng D , Sullivan LA, Chen Z, Morgen E, Simes J, Price TJ, Tebbutt NC, Shapiro JD, Jeffery GM, Mellor JD, Mikeska T, Virk S, Shepherd L, Jonker D, O’Callaghan C, Zalcberg JR, Karapetis CS, Dobrovic A. Fc-y-Receptor Polymorphisms, Cetuximab Therapy, and Survival in the NCIC CTG CO.17 Trial of Colorectal Cancer Survival. Clin Cancer Res. 2016 May;22(10):2435-44. AACR Press Release. Impact Factor 10.2 (Trainee publication, GL supervised ZC, EM, and DC.). This study establishes an important role of the FCGR2 polymorphism for cetuximab therapy in colorectal cancer, and is an important step in demonstrating the role of germline polymorphisms in cancer drug selection for adult solid cancers.