Robert A. Olson, BSc MD FRCPC MSc

Professor, Partner

Division: Radiation Oncology

Associate Head, Research, UBC Department of Surgery

Head, Division of Radiation Oncology

Research Lead, UBC Northern Medical Program

Active Staff: Department Head and Radiation Oncologist, BC Cancer – Prince George

City: Prince George
Health Authority: Provincial Health Services Authority

Address: BC Cancer – Prince George
1215 Lethbridge Street
Prince George, BC V2M 7E9

Phone:   250.645.7325
Fax:  250.546.7361
Toll-free (within BC): 1.855.775.7300


Research Interests

  • Clinical Trials
  • Health Services Delivery Research
  • Collection and Use of Patient Reported Outcomes

Clinical Subspecialty

  • Head and Neck cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Oligometastatic cancer

Dr. Olson is the first Associate Head of Research for the Department of Surgery at UBC provincially, where he works with the Department Head and each Division Head to improve the academic productivity in the Department, with a current focus on improving the mentorship of faculty, encouraging diverse representation in research, and promoting clinical trial leadership. He is also the provincial Division Head of Radiation Oncology & Developmental Radiotherapeutics at UBC, overseeing the academic activities of Radiation Oncologists, residents, and fellows at all six BC Cancer centres, working closely with the clinical Provincial Lead of Radiotherapy at BC Cancer.

After initially practicing in Vancouver, Dr. Olson was the first physician hired to the BC Cancer – Prince George, where he primarily treats Head & Neck, Breast, and palliative cancer patients. He is Centre for the North’s Research Lead, and Fellowship Director. He is proud to work in a small, academic community, pushing the boundary on where academic work can excel.

Dr. Olson’s main areas of research include (1) health services delivery research with a focus on improving evidence based prescribing practices in radiation oncology, (2) collecting patient reported outcomes, and subsequently improving cancer care based on patients’ feedback, and (3) leading clinical trials, with a current focus on investigating stereotactic ablative radiotherapy in the setting of metastatic disease.

• Harvard University: Master of Science in Epidemiology 2010
• University of British Columbia: FRCPC in Radiation Oncology 2010
• University of Calgary: Medical Doctor 2005
• University of Calgary: Bachelor of Science in Cellular Molecular and Microbial Biology 2002


Olson R, Jiang W, Liu M, Bergman A, Schellenberg D, Mou B, Alexandar A, Carolan H, Hsu F, Miller S, Atrchian S, Chan E, Ho C, Mohamed I, Lin A, Berrang T, Bang A, Chng N, Mattews Q, Baker S, Huang V, Mestrovic A, Hyde D, Lnd C, Pai H, Valev B, Lefresne S, Tyldesley S. Treatment with stereotactic ablative radiotherapy for up to 5 oligometastases in patients with cancer: primary toxic effect results of the nonrandomized phase 2 SABR-5 clinical trial. JAMA Oncology published online Sep 29, 2022.

Olson R, McLay M, Hamm J, Callaghan. Identification of tobacco-related cancer diagnoses among individuals with psychiatric disorders: a population based, matched cohort study using a competing-risks approach from British Columbia. Curr Oncol 2021; 28(6):4953-60

Olson R, Mathews L, Liu M, Schellenberg D, Mou B, Berrang T, Harrow S, Correa R, Bhat V, Pai H, Mohamed I, Miller S, Schneiders F, Laba J, Wilke D, Senthi S, Louie A, Swaminath A, Chalmers A, Gaede S, Warner A, de G, T, Allan A, Palma D. Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy for the Comprehensive Treatment of 1-3 Oligometastatic Tumors (SABR-COMET-3): Study Protocol for a Randomized Phase III Trial. BMC Cancer 20:380, 2020.

Palma D, Olson R, Harrow S, Gaede S, Louie A, Haasbeek C, Mulroy L, Lock M, Rodrigues G, Yaremko B, Schellenberg D, Ahmad B, Griffioen G, Senthi S, Swaminath A, Kopek N, Liu M, Moore K, Currie S, Warner A, Senan S. Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy versus standard-of-care palliative treatment in patients with oligometastatic cancer (SABR-COMET): a randomized, phase II, open-label trial. Published online in The Lancet April, 2019

Olson R, Chan M, Minhas N, Kandola G, Tiwana M, Lefresne S, Halperin R, Schellenberg D, Wai E, Ahmed N, Tyldesley S. Programmatic comparison and dissemination of an audit of single fraction radiotherapy prescribing practices for bone metastases is associated with a meaningful and lasting change in practice on a population level. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2018;102(2):325-9.

Olson R, Howard F, Lapointe F, Schellenberg D, Nichol A, Bowering G, Curtis S, Walter A, Brown S, Thompson C, Bergin J, Lomas S, French S, Halperin R, Tyldesley S, Beckham. Provincial development of a patient reported outcome initiative to guide patient care, quality improvement, and research. Healthcare Management Forum 2018; 31(1)13-17

For further information, please visit Dr. Olson’s ResearchGate page.