Alan M. Nichol, BASc MD CCFP

Clinical Professor
Active Staff: BC Cancer

Director of Central Nervous System (CNS) Radiation Oncology, BC Cancer

600 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4E6


Phone: 604.877.6000
Fax: 604.877.0505

Major Clinical Focus – Neuro-oncology, Radiotherapy for breast cancer

Medical training
• Radiation Oncology Clinical Fellowship, University of Toronto, 2003-2004
• Radiation Oncology Residency, University of British Columbia, 1999-2003
• Family Practice Residency, Dalhousie University, 1993-1995

• Doctor of Medicine, University of Calgary, 1993
• Bachelor of Applied Science (Engineering Physics), University of British Columbia, 1990

Biographic Summary (Background, Academic Interests and Activities, Clinical Activities)

I care for patients with brain tumours and breast cancer. I am involved in the teaching of medical students and radiation oncology residents, as well as radiation oncology clinical fellows and graduate students in medical physics. I am presently the local principal investigator of two clinical trials at BC Cancer – Vancouver: Canadian Cancer Trials Group CE.7 (A phase III trial of stereotactic radiosurgery compared with hippocampal-avoidant whole brain radiotherapy plus memantine for 5-15 brain metastases) and MA.39 (TAILOR RT: a randomized trial of regional radiotherapy in biomarker low risk node positive and T3N0 breast cancer). I am the BC Cancer principal Investigator for the Randomized phase II non-inferiority study of 5-day versus 1-day RAPid SimPLE (RAPPLE) targeted radiation treatment for brain Metastases (NCT05050929).

PUBMED Bibliography

Selected Publications (* = Principal Supervisor or  first author)

  1. Nichol AM, Narinesingh D, Raman S, Germain F, Chan EK, Tran E, Gondara L, Speers C, Lohrisch L, Truong P. The Effect of Bolus on Local Control for Patients Treated with Mastectomy and Radiotherapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2021 Jan 21:S0360-3016(21)00072-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2021.01.019. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33485893 (in press).
  2. Fan K, Lalani N, LeVasseur N, Krauze A, Hsu F, Gondara L, Willemsma K, Nichol A*. Type and timing of systemic therapy use predict overall survival for patients with brain metastases treated with radiation therapy. J Neuro-Oncol 2020 doi: 10.1007/s11060-020-03657-8 (in press)
  3. Chan M, Ferguson D, Ni Mhurchu E, Yuan R, Gondara L, McKenzie M, Olson R, Thiessen B, Lalani N, Ma, R, Nichol A*. Patients with pretreatment leukoencephalopathy and older patients have more cognitive decline after whole brain radiotherapy. Radiat Oncol 2020;15:271.
  4. Lalani N, Voduc D, Jimenez R, Levasseur N, Gondara L, Speers C, Lohrisch C, Nichol A. Breast Cancer Molecular Subtype as a Predictor of Radiation Therapy Fractionation Sensitivity. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2020 Aug 24;S0360-3016(20)34133-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.08.038. (in press)
  5. Liu C, Cheifetz R, Brown C, Nichol A, Speers C, Lohrisch N, McKevitt E. Do surgeons convey all the details? A provincial assessment of operative reporting for breast cancer. Am J Surg 2020 May;219(5):780-784. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2020.02.053. Epub 2020 Feb 29.
  6. Koulis T, Nichol A, Truong P, Speers C, Gondara L, Tyldesley S, Lohrisch C, Weir L, Olson R. Hypofractionated Adjuvant Radiation Therapy Is Effective for Patients With Lymph Node-Positive Breast Cancer: A Population-Based Analysis. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2020;108(5):1150-1158. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.07.2313
  7. Beaton L, Nica L, Tyldesley S, Sek K, Ayre G, Aparicio M, Gondara L, Speers C, Nichol A*. PET/CT of breast cancer regional nodal recurrences: an evaluation of contouring atlases. Radiat Oncol 2020;15:136.
  8. * Raman S, Mou B, Hsu F, Valev B, Cheung A, Vallieres I, Beaton L, Rackley T, Gondara Nichol A. Whole Brain Radiotherapy Versus Stereotactic Radiosurgery in Poor-Prognosis Patients with One to 10 Brain Metastases: A Randomised Feasibility Study. Clin Onc 2020 Jul;32(7):442-451. doi: 10.1016/j.clon.2020.02.001.
  9. * Beaton L, Chan EK, Tyldesley S, Gondara L, Speers C, Nichol A. In the Era after the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer ‘Boost’ Study, is the Additional Radiotherapy to the Breast Tumour Bed Still Beneficial for Young Women? Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2020;S0936-6555(20)30025-X. doi:10.1016/j.clon.2020.01.025
  10. Le D, Speers C, Thompson L, Gondara L, Nichol A, Lohrisch C. The impact of new systemic therapies on survival and time on hormonal treatment in hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative metastatic breast cancer: A population-based study in British Columbia from 2003 to 2013. Cancer. 2020;126(5):971–977. doi:10.1002/cncr.32631
  11. Whelan TJ, Julian JA, Berrang TS, Kim Do-Hoon, Germain I, Nichol AM et al. External beam accelerated partial breast irradiation versus whole breast irradiation after breast conserving surgery in women with ductal carcinoma in situ and node-negative breast cancer (RAPID): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2019;394(10215):2165–2172. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(19)32515-2
  12. Beaton L, Bergman A, Nichol A, Aparicio M, Wong G, Gondara L, Speers S, Weir L, Davis M, Tyldesley S. Cardiac death after breast radiotherapy and the QUANTEC cardiac guidelines. Clin Transl Radiat Oncol. 2019;19:39–45. Published 2019 Aug 13. doi:10.1016/j.ctro.2019.08.001
  13. Hartgerink D, Swinnen A, Roberge D, Nichol A, et al. LINAC based stereotactic radiosurgery for multiple brain metastases: guidance for clinical implementation. Acta Oncol. 2019;58(9):1275–1282. doi:10.1080/0284186X.2019.1633016
  14. * Kosztyla R, Raman S, Moiseenko V, Reinsberg SA, Toyota B, Nichol A. Dose-painted volumetric modulated arc therapy of high-grade glioma using 3,4-dihydroxy-6-[18F]fluoro-L-phenylalanine positron emission tomography. Br J Radiol. 2019;92(1099):20180901. doi:10.1259/bjr.20180901
  15. Hamilton SN, Nichol A, Wai E, Gondara L, Velasquez Garcia HA, Speers C, Diocee R, Truong P. Local Relapse After Breast-Conserving Therapy Versus Mastectomy for Extensive Pure Ductal Carcinoma In Situ >/=4 cm Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2019 Feb 1. 103;2:381-8.
  16. Tyler S, Truong PT, Lesperance M, Nichol A, Baliski C, Warburton R, Tyldesley S. Close Margins Less Than 2 mm Are Not Associated With Higher Risks of 10-Year Local Recurrence and Breast Cancer Mortality Compared With Negative Margins in Women Treated With Breast-Conserving Therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Jul 1;101(3):661-670. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2018.03.005. Epub 2018 Mar 13. PMID: 29678525
  17. Roberge D, Brown PD, Whitton A, O’Callaghan C, Leis A, Greenspoon J, Smith GL, Hu JJ, Nichol A, Winch C, Chan MD. The Future Is Now-Prospective Study of Radiosurgery for More Than 4 Brain Metastases to Start in 2018! Front Oncol. 2018 Sep 13;8:380. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2018.00380. eCollection 2018. PMID: 30271753
  18. Olson RA, Howard F, Lapointe V, Schellenberg D, Nichol A, Bowering G, Curtis S, Walter A, Brown S, Thompson C, Bergin J, Lomas S, French J, Halperin R, Tyldesley S, Beckham W. Provincial development of a patient-reported outcome initiative to guide patient care, quality improvement, and research. Healthc Manage Forum 2018 Jan;31(1):13-17. doi: 10.1177/0840470417715478. PMID: 29264976
  19. Chiu CG, Lau B, Nichol A. Survivorship care: understanding the sequelae of breast cancer treatment. BCMJ 2018;60(2):1009-115.
  20. Guillaud M, Ye Q, Leung S, Carraro A, Harrison A, Hayes M, Nichol A, Keyes M. Large-scale DNA organization is a prognostic marker of breast cancer survival. Med Oncol. 2017 Dec 6;35(1):9. doi: 10.1007/s12032-017-1068-1. PMID: 29214466
  21. Hsu F, Nichol A, Toriumi T, De Caluwe A. Miliary metastases are associated with epidermal growth factor receptor mutations in non-small cell lung cancer: a population-based study. Acta Oncol. 2017 Sep;56(9):1175-1180. PMID: 28521651
  22. De Caluwé A, Bowering G, Nichol A, Hsu F. The incidence of symptomatic brain metastases from extra-pulmonary small cell carcinoma: Is there a role for prophylactic cranial irradiation in a clinically relevant population cohort? Radiother Oncol. 2017 Jul;124(1):31-37. PMID: 28662868
  23. Hamilton SN, Nichol A, Truong P, McKenzie M, Hsu F, Cheung A, Dolman P, Gete E, Ma R. Visual Outcomes and Local Control After Fractionated Stereotactic Radiotherapy for Optic Nerve Sheath Meningioma. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2017 Apr 18. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 28422769
  24. Dosani M, Schrader K A, Nichol A, Sun S, Shenkier T, Lohn Z, Aubertin G, Tyldesley S.
    (July 11, 2017) Severe Late Toxicity After Adjuvant Breast Radiotherapy in a Patient with a Germline Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Gene: Future Treatment Decisions. Cureus 9(7): e1458. doi:10.7759/cureus.1458 PMID: 28929041
  25. *Chan E, Wilson C, Tyldesley S, Olivotto I, Lai A, Sam J, Harry R, Nichol A. Signed Family Physician Reminder Letters for Women who are Overdue for Screening Mammography: A Randomised Clinical Trial. Journal of Medical Screening J Med Screen. 2017 Jan 1:969141317719921. doi: 10.1177/0969141317719921. PMID: 29157121
  26. *Lo A, Ayre G, Ma R, Hsu F, Akagami R, McKenzie M, Valev B, Gete E, Vallieres I, Nichol A. A population-based study of stereotactic radiosurgery or fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy for vestibular schwannoma: long-term outcomes and toxicities Int J Rad Onc Biol Phys 2017 Sep 18. pii: S0360-3016(17)33891-9. PMID: 29066124
  27. Hsu F, De Caluwe A, Anderson D, Nichol A, Toriumi T, Ho C. Patterns of spread and prognostic implications of lung cancer metastasis in an era of driver mutations. Current Oncology 2017;24:228-233. PMID 28874890
  28. Nichol A, Chan EK, Lucas S, Smith SL, Gondara L, Speers C, Tyldesley S. The use of hormone therapy alone versus hormone therapy and radiation therapy for breast cancer in elderly women: a population-based study. Int J Rad Onc Biol Phys 2017;98:829-39. PMID 28602413
  29. Hsu F, De Caluwe A, Anderson D, Nichol A, Toriumi T, Ho C. EGFR mutation status on brain metastases from non-small cell lung cancer. Lung Cancer 2016;96:101-7. PMID 27133758
  30. *Kosztyla R, Reinsberg S A, Moiseenko V, Toyota B, Nichol A. (October 05, 2016) Interhemispheric Difference Images from Postoperative Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Gliomas. Cureus 8(10): e817. doi:10.7759/cureus.817 PMID: 27843735
  31. Lo A, Howard AF, Nichol A, Hasan H, Martin M, Heran M, Goddard K. A cross-sectional cohort study of cerebrovascular disease and late effects after radiation therapy for craniopharyngioma. Pediatric Blood and Cancer 2016;63:786-93. PMID 26756999
  32. Nichol A, Ma R, Hsu F, Gondara L, Carolan H, Olson R, Schellenberg D, Germain F, Cheung A, Peacock M, Bergman A, Vollans E, Vellani R, McKenzie M. Volumetric radiosurgery for one to ten brain metastases: a multi-centre, single-arm, phase 2 study. Int J Rad Onc Biol Phys 2016;94:312-21. PMID 26678660