Dr. Spreafico is Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and Staff Medical Oncologist and Clinician-Investigator in the Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre University Health Network (PM-UHN) in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Spreafico previous trainings include: a PhD in translational research in the Program for Evaluation of Targeted Therapies (PETT) at the University of Colorado, and a subspecialty fellowship in head and neck (HN) cancer and experimental therapeutics at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto under the mentorship of Dr. Lillian Siu, Director of the Phase I Program at PM-UHN.
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 antitumor activity and resistance. Dr. Spreafico career goal is to merge and integrate preclinical science and clinical care in daily research activities, developing methods to select/identify patients who may benefit from tailored treatments, evaluate mechanisms of drug responsiveness as well as rational combination studies. Dr. Spreafico main disease-specific interests are in skin/melanoma and HN cancers. Since 2017, Dr. Spreafico has being serving as the HN medical oncology disease site lead at the PM-UHN.
Nationally and internationally, Dr. Spreafico collaborates with the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and is the co-chair of an investigator-initiated, immunoradiotherapy-based curative-intent trial for patients with HPV-positive intermediate risk oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. This trial represents an important milestone and will answer questions regarding maintenance treatment in the HN locally advanced setting. Within the correlative research questions built in this trial, Dr. Spreafico is leading the microbiome biomarker study, for which she has been awarded the Canadian Cancer Society/Canadian Institutes of Health Research Innovation Grant. Dr. Spreafico’s international collaborations also include the US NCI Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP). In 2016, Dr. Spreafico was selected to be the Principal Investigator of a CTEP Project Team Member Application (PTMA) phase I study of a novel antibody drug conjugate in combination with immunotherapy in advanced pancreatic cancer patients
Dr. Spreafico’s expertise in drug development and her interest for microbiome biomarker discovery has led to a well-established collaborative network with Dr Bryan Coburn, infectious disease and microbiome expert at UHN, Dr. David Guttman, director of the CAGEF at the University of Toronto and Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe, a world-renewed microbiome expert at the University of Guelph. The active collaboration is reflected in several ongoing investigator-initiated microbiome-related observational and interventional clinical trials evaluating the role of the oral and intestinal microbiome in cancer patients and the ability to manipulate the intestinal microbiome to increase responsiveness to immunotherapy (INSPECT-IO: NCT04107311, ROMA: NCT03759730, ROMA2:NCT03838601 and MET4-IO:NCT3686202). In November 2019, Dr. Spreafico has organized and led the first pan-Canadian microbiome working group meeting, which has established guidelines to standardize the collection, processing and analysis of microbiome samples between centers.
Dr. Spreafico is the recipient of the several national and international awards including ASCO Conquer Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award, ASCO Merit Awards and NOYCIA Awards. To date, Dr. Spreafico has published over 65 peer-reviewed manuscripts and authored well over 150 abstracts.
Dr. Spreafico has been providing mentorship to several trainees, some of whom have received prestigious national and international achievements such as ASCO YIA, ASCO, AACR and NOYCIA Merit Awards and are now holding academic staff positions as independent clinical investigators.