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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Lillian Sung, MD, PhD, FRCPC

The Hospital for Sick Children
Paediatric Oncologist

Research Institute
Senior Scientist
Child Health Evaluative Sciences

University of Toronto
Department of Paediatrics and Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation

Other Positions

Children's Oncology Group
Cancer Control and Supportive Care
Immediate Past Chair

Children's Oncology Group
Cancer Care Delivery Research

Canada (CYP-C) Management Committee
Cancer in Young People

Phone: 416-813-1500
Fax: 416-813-5327
Email: lillian.sung@sickkids.ca

Brief Biography

Dr. Sung joined the staff at The Hospital for Sick Children in September 2004 after completing fellowships in Haematology, Infectious Diseases and Clinical Investigation and receiving a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Toronto.

She is a Paediatric Oncologist and Clinician Scientist with an independent research program focused on supportive care for children with cancer. Her overall goal is to optimize supportive care for children with cancer, with an aim to maximize quality of life, survival and cost-effectiveness. She is the Chair of Cancer Control and Supportive Care for the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). This group oversees all studies of supportive care including studies related to symptom management and patient-reported outcomes.

Her research program is currently focused on symptom screening and interventions to reduce fatigue in paediatric cancer patients. She holds a Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute Impact Grant and has previously received operating grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Institutes of Health (NIH, R21). She is the Co-Principal Investigator of the COG National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program (UG1CA189955) and an NIH R25 in collaboration with the American Society of Hematology.

Her clinical focus is on the inpatient care of children and adolescents with leukemia and lymphoma. She also has a major focus on research education. She has taught graduate courses for the School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto since her faculty appointment and she currently co-directs an advanced randomized trials course. In addition, she has contributed to the development of the Clinical Research Training Institute supported by the American Society of Hematology and developed a research training course in Latin America and Qatar.

Clinical Interests:

  • Inpatient care of children with leukemia and lymphoma.

Research Interests

  • Paediatric cancer supportive care
  • Measurement of symptoms – development of the Symptom Screening in Pediatrics Tool (SSPedi) and the Children’s International Mucositis Evaluation Scale (ChIMES)
  • Development of a website to promote symptom screening and access to clinical practice guidelines called Supportive care Prioritization: Assessment and Recommendations for Kids (SPARK)
  • Interventions to reduce symptoms including yoga to reduce fatigue
  • Optimizing management of fever and neutropenia
  • Clinical practice guideline development
  • Methodological foci: randomized trials, observational studies, meta-analysis, clinical practice guideline development, patient-reported outcomes, instrument development and instrument psychometric evaluation

External Funding

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute
  • Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation
  • C17 Research Network
  • Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario
  • Garron Family Comprehensive Cancer Centre
  • Rally Foundation


  • 2016 - The Wendy Lack Memorial Scientific Achievement Award – The Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF)
  • 2015 and 2010 – POWER Teaching Award, Department of Paediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children
  • 2014 – Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute Impact Grant “Development and validation of a pediatric cancer-specific symptom assessment screening tool”
  • 2011 - Frank Oski Lectureship - for outstanding clinical or laboratory investigator in paediatric hematology/oncology, American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • 2009-2014 - New Investigator Award, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • 2009 - Canadian Cancer Society Award for Excellence in Cancer Research – William E. Rawls Award in Cancer Control
  • 2008 – Junior Researcher Award – Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children
  • 2006 - Early Researcher Award – Ministry of Research and Innovation, Canada  
  • 2004 – Andrew Sass-Korsak Clinician Scientist Award – The Hospital for Sick Children


  1. Alexander S, Pole JD, Gibson P, Lee M, Hesser T, Chi S, Dvorak CC, Fisher B, Hasle H, Kanerva J, Möricke A, Phillips B, Raetz E, Rodriguez-Galindo C, Samarasinghe S, Schmiegelow K, Tissing W, Lehrnbecher T, Sung L: Development of a reliable and valid system for classifying treatment-related mortality in children with cancer. Lancet Oncology 2015: 16(16): e604-10.   SRI
  2. Freyer D, Chen L, Krailo M, Knight K, Villaluna D, Bliss B, Pollock B, Ramdas J, Lange B, Van Hoff D, VanSolene M, Wiernikowski J, Neuwelt E, Sung L: Effects of sodium thiosulfate versus observation on development of cisplantin-inducded hearing loss in children with cancer: results from The Children Oncology Group ACCL0431 randomised cohort trial. The Lancet Oncology. 2016: in press. SRI
  3. Knight K, Chen L, Freyer D, Aplenc R, Bancroft A, Bliss B, Dang H, Gillmeister, Hendershot E, Kraemer D, Lindenfeld L, Meza J, Neuwelt E, Pollock B, Sung L: A group-wide, prospective study of ototoxicity assessment in children receiving cisplatin chemotherapy (ACCL05C1): a report from the Children’s Oncology Group. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2016: in press SRI
  4. Sung L, Nathan PC, Alibhai SM, Tomlinson D, Beyene J: Meta-analysis: Effect of prophylactic hematopoietic colony-stimulating factors on mortality and outcomes of infection. Annals of    Internal Medicine 2007: 147(6): 400-11.  PA
  5. Sung L, Lange BJ, Gerbing RB, Alonzo RA and Feusner J: Microbiologically documented infections and infection-related mortality in children with acute myeloid leukemia.  Blood 2007: 110(10): 3532-9.  PA
  6. Dix D, Cellot S, Price V, Gillmeister B, Ethier MC, Johnston DL, Lewis V, Michon B, Mitchell D, Stobart K, Yanofsky R, Portwine C, Silva M, Bowes L, Zelcer S, Brossard J, Traubici J, Allen U, Beyene J, Sung L: Association between corticosteroids and infection, sepsis and infectious death in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia: from the Canadian Infections in AML Research Group.  Clinical Infectious Disease 2012: 55(12): 1608-14.  SRI
  7. Lehrnbecher T, Phillilps R, Alexander S, Alvaro F, Carlesse F, Fisher B, Hakim H, Santolaya M, Castagnola E, Davis BL, Dupuis LL, Gibson F, Groll AH, Gaur A, Gupta A, Kebudi R, Petrilli S, Steinbach WJ, Villarroel M, Zaoutis T, Sung L: Guideline for the management of fever and neutropenia in children with cancer and/or undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.  Journal of Clinical Oncology 2012: 30(35): 4427-38.  SRI
  8. Shaikh F, Brzezinski J, Alexander S, Carvalho J, Arzola C, Beyene J, Sung L: Ultrasound imaging for lumbar punctures and epidural catheterisations: A systematic review and meta-analysis.  British Medical Journal 2013: 346: f1720.  SRI
  9. Sung L, Aplenc R, Alonzo TA, Gerbing RB, Lehrnbecher T, Gamis AS: Effectiveness of supportive care measures to reduce infections in pediatric AML: A report from the Children's Oncology Group. Blood 2013: 121(18): 3573-7.  PA
  10. Chellapandian D, Lehrnbecher T, Phillips B, Fisher B, Zaoutis T, Steinbach W, Beyene J, Sung L: Broncho-alveolar lavage and lung biopsy in patients with cancer and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation recipients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2015: 33(5): 501-509.  SRI

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