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Christian Finley, MD - Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. Toronto, ON, CA

Christian Finley, MD Christian Finley, MD

Expert Advisor, Diagnosis and Clinical Care | Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

Toronto, ON, CANADA

Dr. Finley is an experienced thoracic surgeon dedicated to improving delivery of cancer treatments





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Dr. Christian Finley is a national leader in cancer surgery quality, governance, standardization and benchmarking. He holds a Masters degree in Public Health from Harvard University, a Doctor of Medicine from University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Applied Science from Queen’s University. After completing advanced training in Leuven, Belgium and England, he started working at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. He is currently appointed as an associate professor in the Department of Surgery (Division of Thoracic Surgery) at McMaster University. Dr. Finley has led many initiatives that have won awards for quality and patient-centered care. Recognizing a local need, Dr. Finley conceived and fundraised for the creation of a palliative suite for patients to die with dignity. Dr. Christian Finley is Expert Lead at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. In this role he provides advice, expertise and leadership on improving the quality of surgical oncology, as well as system performance in cancer control in Canada.

Dr. Finley has received over 7 million dollars in research funding, published over 75 papers, and has been invited for national and international presentations. He has received numerous awards, including a prestigious James IV international award supporting outstanding surgical leaders to promote the exchange of knowledge around the globe. He is the proud father of three girls and an avid outdoorsman.

Areas of Expertise (6)





Change Management

Knowledge Translation

Education (2)

Harvard University: MPH, Public Health

University of British Columbia: MD, Medicine

Media Appearances (2)

Odds of dying from cancer depend where you live, say Hamilton researchers

The Hamilton Spectator  


"I was pretty shocked," said lead author Dr. Christian Finley, a thoracic surgeon at St. Joseph's Healthcare and McMaster University. "We showed really tremendous disparity. This is unacceptable."...

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Cancer surgery complications, death rates vary widely across Canada: report

CTV News  


Dr. Christian Finley, a thoracic surgeon at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Hamilton and lead author of the paper, says the study looked only at major surgeries for esophageal, pancreatic, liver, lung and ovarian cancers that typically result in long hospital stays and relatively high death rates. “Even in the best hands in the world, they have an adverse event, or complication rate, of about 30 per cent. So these are large surgeries,” Finley explained to CTV News Channel Thursday...

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Articles (9)

Comprehensive Clinical Staging for Resectable Lung Cancer: Clinicopathological Correlations and the Role of Brain MRI

Journal of Thoracic Oncology

2016 In our model of comprehensive clinical staging (CCS) for lung cancer, patients with a computerized tomography scan of the chest and upper abdomen not showing distant metastases will then routinely undergo whole body positron emission tomography/computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain before any therapeutic decision. Our aim was to determine the accuracy of CCS and the value of brain MRI in this population.

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Approaches to High-Risk, Resource Intensive Cancer Surgical Care in Canada

Report for the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

2015 The Approaches to High-Risk, Resource Intensive Cancer Surgical Care in Canada report looks at the organization of complex cancer surgeries in Canada. The report provides an objective analysis and discussion about the distribution of, and approaches to, high-risk, resource intensive cancer surgical procedures for esophageal, pancreatic, liver, lung and ovarian cancers in Canada.

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Treatment choices and outcomes of patients with manometrically diagnosed achalasia

Diseases of the Esophagus

2015 This prospective population-based study was designed to evaluate treatment choices in patients with new manometrically diagnosed achalasia and their outcomes. Patients referred to the esophageal function laboratory were enrolled after a new manometric diagnosis of achalasia. Patients completed an initial achalasia symptom score validated questionnaire on their symptom severity, duration, treatment pre-diagnosis and Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form (SF-36) survey. Treatment decisions were made by the referring physician and the patient. Follow-up questionnaires were completed every 3 months for 1 year. Patients who chose not to undergo treatment at 1-year follow-up completed another questionnaire after 5 years.

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The effect of surgeon volume on procedure selection in non–small cell lung cancer surgeries

Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery

2015 Procedure selection by the surgeon can greatly affect patients' operative and long-term survival. This selection potentially reflects comfort with technically challenging surgeries. This study aims to examine surgeon choices for non–small cell lung cancer and whether surgeon volume predicts the type of procedure chosen, controlling for patient demographics, comorbidity, year of surgery, and institutional factors.

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The effect of regionalization on outcome in esophagectomy: a Canadian national study

The Annals of Thoracic Surgery

2011 Regionalization of specialized surgical services has been proposed to improve outcomes based on the reported association between volume and outcomes. The effect of regionalization of esophagectomy on in-hospital mortality (IHM) and length of stay ...

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Factors associated with postoperative symptoms after laparoscopic Heller myotomy

The Annals of Thoracic Surgery

2010 Our objective is to ascertain if preoperative and perioperative treatments affect the short-and long-term symptom frequency or symptom scores for dysphagia, regurgitation, and heartburn in patients with laparoscopic Heller myotomy for achalasia. ...

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The effect of regionalization on outcome in pulmonary lobectomy: a Canadian national study

The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery

2010 To examine the effect of regionalization of thoracic surgery services in Canada by evaluating change over time in hospital volumes of pulmonary lobectomy and its impact on length of stay and in-hospital mortality...

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Empyema: An increasing concern in Canada

Canadian Respiratory Journal

2008 Empyema is a suppurative infection of the pleural space. Without prompt treatment, it can result in significant hospital stays, more invasive treatments as it progresses, and substantial morbidity and mortality...

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Practical approaches to the surgical management of achalasia

The American Surgeon

2008 Achalasia is a primary motor disorder of the esophagus characterized by an abnormal hypertensive, nonrelaxing lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and nonfunctioning, aperistaltic esophageal body resulting in significant regurgitation and dysphagia. The ...

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