Carolyn Nessim profile picture

Contact Information

Carolyn Nessim, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS
613-737-8899 ext 71085

Fax: 613-737-8659

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Carolyn Nessim

Clinician Investigator, Cancer Research
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Surgical Oncologist, Division of General Surgery
The Ottawa Hospital
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Department of Surgery
The University of Ottawa
Program Director, Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program
The University of Ottawa

Research Interests

Dr. Carolyn Nessim's main research interests involve evaluating outcomes of cancer treatments using large databases for Melanoma, Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Gastric Cancer and Merkel Cell Carcinoma. Her other interests include understanding the immunology of Soft Tissue Sarcoma and Melanoma. She collaborates with scientists at OHRI doing translational projects looking at the role of oncolytic viruses, NK cells and T-cells in the treatment strategies for Sarcoma and Melanoma. She is the lead of the Research Evaluation Committee of the Trans-Atlantic Australasian Retro-Peritoneal Sarcoma Working Group (TARPSWG) and is a member of the Canadian Melanoma Research Network (CMRN). She is also an active member of the Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board (OCREB) and the Chair for the Surveillance Subcommittee for Melanoma for the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG). 

Brief Biography

Dr. Carolyn Nessim is a Surgical Oncologist at the Ottawa Hospital and Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Ottawa. She completed her MD, MSc (Biomedical Sciences) and General Surgery Residency at the University of Montreal. Her fellowship training was in Surgical Oncology at the University of Toronto and then at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center in Melbourne Australia.

She is currently also a Clinician Investigator in the Cancer Therapeutics Program at The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) as well as the Program Director for the Complex Surgical Oncology Subspecialty Fellowship training program. Her clinical practice focuses on the treatment of patients with Soft Tissue Sarcoma/GIST, Melanoma/Skin Cancers, Gastric cancer and Neuroendocrine Tumours. She is the Regional Co-Lead for Melanoma and Skin Cancers and Gastric Cancer in the Champlain LHIN. She has been invited as a speaker and moderator at several national and international conferences on the topics of Sarcoma and Melanoma. She is a member of Cancer Care Ontario's Skin Cancer Advisory Board as well as the American Society of Clinical Oncology's Technical Expert Group for Melanoma.

Selected Publications

Nessim C. Editorial Commentary on “When is Watchful Waiting Warranted? Advances in Soft Tissue Sarcoma: an editorial commentary.” Ann of Surg Onc 2019; 26(11):3420-3422. Doi: 10.1245/s10434-019-07496-4.

Nessim C, Crawford A. ASO Reflections: Wait times in Melanoma Surgery. Ann of Surg Onc 2018. doi: 10.1245/s10434-018-7022-4.  

Monteiro-de-Barros J, Hodson J, Glasbey J, Massey R, Rintoul-Hoad O, Chetan M, Desai A, Almond M, Gourevitch D, Strauss D, Smith H, Cardona K, Lopez-Aguiar A, Johnson A, Swallow C, Burtenshaw S, Nessim C, Weng R, Purgina B, Gronchi A, Fiore M, Vallegro D, Raut C, Fairweather M, Bagaria S, Novak M, Gyorki D, Reid F, Mullinax J, Gonzalez R, van Coeverden F, van Houdt W, Haas R, van Boven H, Heeres B, Ford S. Intercontinental Collaborative experience with Abdominal, Retroperitoneal and Pelvic Schwannomas. British Journal of Surgery. 2019; doi: 10.1002/bjs.11376.  (Epub ahead of print)

Wright F, Souter LH, Kellett S, Easson A, Murray C, Toye J, McCready D, Nessim C, Ghazarian D, Look Hong N, Johnson S, Goldstein D, Petrella T. Primary Excision Margins, Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy and Completion Dissection in cutaneous Melanoma.  Current Oncology. 2019; 26(4):e541-e550. doi: 10.3747/co.26.4885. (Epub 2019 Aug 1.)     

Pang G, Look Hong NJ, Paull G, Kupper S, Hurton S, Dobransky J, Kagedan DJ, Quan ML, Helyer L, Nessim C and Wright F. Squamous Cell Carcinoma with Regional Metastasis to Axilla or Groin Lymph Nodes: An Analysis of Outcomes. Annals of Surg Onc, 2019 (Epub ahead of print)
Berger-Richardson D, Burtenshaw SM, Ibrahim AM, Gladdy RA, Auer R, Beecroft R, Dickson BC, Purgina B,  Ambacher K, Nessim C and Swallow CJ.  Early and late complications of percutaneous core needle biopsy of retroperitoneal tumors at two tertiary sarcoma centers. Ann Surg Oncol 2019. Doi: 10.1245/s10434-019-07656-6. (Epub ahead of print)

Gilbert RWD, Harvey HM,  Nessim C. Malignant Melanoma arising from an End Ileostomy. BMJ Case Reports, 2019. 12(7): pii: e230265. Doi: 10.1136/bcr-2019-230265. 

Raut CP, Callegaro D, Barretta F, Rutkowski P, Blay J-Y, Lahat G, Strauss DC, Gonzalez R, Ahuja N, Grignani G, Quagliuolo V, Stoeckle E, de Paoli A, Pillarisetty V, Nessim C, Swallow CJ, Bagaria S, Canter R, Mullen J, Gelderblom HJ, Pennacchioli E, van Coevorden F, Cardona K, Miceli R, Gronchi A. Predicting Survival in patients undergoing resection for locoregionally recurrent retroperitoneal sarcoma: A study and nomogram from the Trans-Atlantic Sarcoma Working Group (TARPSWG). Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 25(8): 2664-2671. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-2700. [Epub ahead of print]

Authors listed in alphabetical order Nessim C et al. Management of Metastatic Retroperitoneal Sarcoma (RPS) – A Consensus Approach from the Trans-Atlantic Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Working Group (TARPSWG). Ann Oncol 2018; 29(4): 857-871. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdy052.

Crawford, Nessim C, Weaver J, van Walraven C. Wait times for melanoma surgery: Is there an association with overall survival? Ann Surg Oncol 2017; 25(1): 265-270. doi. 10.1245/s10434-017-6146-2.

Lim R, Kielar AZ, El-Maraghi RH, Fraser MA, Nessim C and Thipphavong S. Multidisciplinary Retroperitoneal and Pelvic Soft Tissue Sarcoma Case Conferences: The Added Value Radiologists Can Provide. Current Oncology 2017; 24(3): 171-175. DOI:

Authors listed in alphabetical order Nessim C et al. Management of Recurrent Retroperitoneal Sarcoma (RPS) – A Consensus Approach from the Trans-Atlantic RPS Working Group. Ann Surg Oncol 2016; 23(11): 3531-3540. doi: 10.1245/s10434-016-5336-7. (Epub 2016 Aug 1.)

Tsvetkova E, Marginean C with Nessim C and Verma S. Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) – Paving the Way for Modern Oncology – Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Treatment.  Oncology and Hematology Review 2015; 11(1): 74–86 DOI:

Diseases, conditions and populations of interest

Research and clinical approaches