Gillian Hanley, PhD

Gillian Hanley, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of British Columbia

Dr. Gillian Hanley, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of British Columbia. She is a Canada Research Chair in Population-based Gynecologic and Perinatal outcomes, a CIHR New Investigator, a Michael Smith Foundation Scholar and a Janet D. Cottrelle foundation scholar. Dr. Hanley has training in epidemiology, health services research (PhD) and health economics (MA).

Her program of research uses the power of population-based administrative data to understand ovarian cancer prevention and survivorship. In ovarian cancer prevention, RCTs and prospective cohort studies can be very resource intensive due to the low lifetime risk of ovarian cancer (1.7%). The use of existing population-based datasets avoids the obstacles and therefore can be particularly useful for advancing research in these areas.

Specifically, Dr. Hanley has worked with the population-based datasets in BC to better understand opportunistic salpingectomy as an ovarian cancer prevention approach. Removal of the ovaries is not recommended for people at general population risk for ovarian cancer, as it is associated with increased total mortality, coronary heart disease, and osteoporosis. Thus, removal of the fallopian tubes during other pelvic surgeries (opportunistic salpingectomy) has arisen as a preventive strategy for people at average risk for ovarian cancer, who make up 80% of cases of high-grade serous cancer.

Dr. Hanley’s research has shown that opportunistic salpingectomy is safe, both in terms of perioperative adverse events and minor complications, and that there are no indications of an earlier age of onset of menopause following OS. She has been involved in work illustrating that opportunistic salpingectomy is cost-effective, and most recently has generated the first evidence that individuals who have undergone opportunistic salpingectomy have significantly fewer observed ovarian cancers than would otherwise be expected, suggesting that we are effectively preventing ovarian cancer through fallopian tube removal.