Robert A. Olson, BSc MD FRCPC MSc

Associate Professor, Partner

Associate Head, Research, UBC Department of Surgery

Head, Division of Radiation Oncology and Developmental Radiotherapeutics

Research Lead, UBC Northern Medical Program

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

City: Prince George
Hospital Authority: PHSA

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

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

Clinical Subspecialty

  • Head and Neck cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer

Dr. Olson is 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 Centre for the North in Prince George, where he primarily treats Head & Neck, Breast, and Lung cancer patients. He is Centre for the North’s Radiation Oncology Department Head, Research Lead, and Fellowship Director.

Dr. Olson is also actively engaged in leadership with the Northern Medical Program (NMP) which is a collaboration with the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) and UBC. He is the former director of faculty development and continues to educate physicians on practical methods to improve their teaching skills of medical students, residents, and fellows. Currently, he is the Research Lead in the NMP, and he works closely with PHSA, Northern Health, UBC, UNBC, and other partners to improve the research capacity in northern BC.

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 and delivery of care in rural and remote communities, (2) collecting patient reported outcomes, and subsequently improving cancer care based on patients’ feedback, and (3) operating 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


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, Liu M, Bergman A, Lam S, Hsu F, Mou B, Berrang T, Mstrovic A, Chng N, Hyde D, Matthews Q, Lund C, Glick D, Pai H, Basran P, Carolan H, Valev B, Lefresne S, Tyldesley S, Schellenberg D. Population-based Phase II trial of Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR) for up to 5 Oligometastases: SABR-5. BMC Cancer 2018 18:954.

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

Tiwana M, Barnes M, Kiraly A, Olson R. Utilization of palliative radiotherapy for bone metastases near end of life in a population-based cohort. BMC Palliative Care 2016;15:2

Olson R, Tiwana M, Barnes M, Kiraly A, Beecham K, Miller S, Hoegler D, Olivotto I. Use of single versus multiple fraction palliative radiotherapy for bone metastases: Population-based analysis of 16,898 courses in a Canadian Province. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Physics 2014; 89:1092-9

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