Dr. Tamara Jamaspishvili

Transformative Pathology Fellow

Most prostate cancers detected today are slow growing, early, localized cases that have minimal risk of harming the patient. Accurate identification of very low- and low-risk patients at initial diagnosis is a major challenge due to imperfect risk-stratification tools, particularly biopsy errors and high inter-observer variability among pathologists. Despite an error rate of 40 per cent in distinguishing between low risk and intermediate risk patients, deferred treatment (active surveillance) is now the official recommendation of Canadian urologists for patients diagnosed with low grade cancers. Inability to accurately identify high grade elements on core needle biopsies makes active surveillance (AS) challenging and results in up to a third of men on AS protocols converting to radical treatment each year. Dr. Tamara Jamaspishvili’s research interest and the project goals are to identify and validate promising diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for early prostate cancer that may be used as complementary tests by pathologists to identify subset of cancers with hidden aggressive nature.

Current affiliations

  • Transformative Pathology Fellow, OICR.

Research interests

  • Diagnostic pathology;
  • Genitourinary (GU) pathology;
  • Molecular pathology of prostate and bladder cancers;
  • Cancer genomics;
  • Tissue-based prognostic biomarker analysis;
  • Digital quantitative pathology.

Select publications

Jamaspishvili T, Berman DM, Ross AE, Scher HI, De Marzo AM, Squire JA, Lotan TL.
Clinical implications of PTEN loss in prostate cancer.
Nature Reviews Urol. 2018;15(4):222-234.

Brimo F, Downes MR, Jamaspishvili T, Berman D, Barkan GA, Athanazio D, Abro S, Visram K, Yilmaz A, Solanki S, Hahn E, Siemens R, Kassouf W, Trpkov K.
Prognostic pathologic factors in radical cystectomy after neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
Histopathology. 2018; Epub ahead of print.

Lotan TL, Wei W, Ludkovski O, Morais CL, Guedes LB, Jamaspishvili T, Lopez K, Hawley ST, Feng Z, Fazli L, Hurtado-Coll A, McKenney JK, Simko J, Carroll PR, Gleave M, Lin DW, Nelson PS, Thompson IM, True LD, Brooks JD, Lance R, Troyer D, Squire JA.
Analytic Validation of a Clinical-Grade PTEN Immunohistochemistry Assay in Prostate Cancer by Comparison with PTEN FISH.
Mod Pathol. 2016; 29(8):904-14.

Eigl BJ, North S, Winquist E, Finch D, Wood L, Sridhar SS, Powers J, Good J, Sharma M, Squire JA, Bazov J, Jamaspishvili T, Cox ME, Bradbury PA, Eisenhauer EA, Chi KN.
A phase II study of the HDAC inhibitor SB939 in patients with castration resistant prostate cancer: NCIC clinical trials group study IND195.
Invest New Drugs. 2015; 33(4):969-76.

Troyer DA, Jamaspishvili T, Wei W, Feng Z, Good J, Hawley S, Fazli L, McKenney JK, Simko J, Hurtado-Coll, Carroll PR, Gleave M, Lance R, Lin DW, Nelson PS, Thompson IM, True LD, Brooks JD, Squire JA. A multicenter study shows PTEN deletion is strongly associated with seminal vesicle involvement and extracapsular extension in localized prostate cancer.
Prostate. 2015; 75(11):1206-15.

Jamaspishvili T, Kral M, Khomeriki I, Vyhnankova V, Mgebrishvili G, Student V, Kolar Z, Bouchal J. Quadriplex model enhances urine-based detection of prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2011; 14(4):354-60.

Jamaspishvili T, Scorilas A, Kral M, Khomeriki I, Kurfurstova D, Kolar Z, Bouchal J.
Immunohistochemical localization and analysis of kallikrein-related peptidase 7 and 11 expressionin paired cancer and benign foci in prostate cancer patients.
Neoplasma. 2011; 58(4):298-303.

Jamaspishvili T, Kral M, Khomeriki I, Student V, Kolar Z, Bouchal J.
Urine markers in monitoring for prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2010; 13(1):12-9.

Kolar Z, Burdova A, Jamaspishvili T, Bouchal J, Kucerova R, Bienova M, Kral M, Student V.
Relation of ETS transcription factor family member ERG, androgen receptor and topoisomerase 2β expression to TMPRSS2-ERG fusion status in prostate cancer.
Neoplasma. 2014; 61(1):9-16.

Jamaspishvili T, Squire J.
Transitioning Discoveries from Cancer Genomics Research Laboratories into Pathology Practice, In: George J. Netto and Karen Kaul (2nd ed), Genomic Applications in Clinical and Anatomic Pathology.
Springer Nature,

Jamaspishvili T, Squire J.
Moving discoveries from cancer genomics research lab into pathology practice. In: George J. Netto, Iris Schrijver (1st ed), Genomic Applications in Clinical and Anatomic Pathology.
Springer Nature, 2013.

See Dr. Jamaspishvili’s recent publications on PubMed.


  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research, IRSC Travel Award, 2017;
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute of Cancer Research, The Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Early Career Researcher Program Travel Award, 2017;
  • Queen’s University, Postdoctoral Travel Award, 2016;
  • Terry Fox Research Institute, Travel Award, 2013;
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute for Cancer Research, The Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, Travel Award, 2013.

Previous experience and education

  • Transformative Pathology Fellow (OICR), Division of Cancer Biology & Genetics, Cancer Research Institute, Queen’s University (2015-present);
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine, Queen’s University (2012-2015);
  • Clinician Scientist, Department of Clinical & Molecular Pathology, Medical Faculty, Palacky University, Czech Republic (2008-2011);
  • PhD, Department of Clinical & Molecular Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Palacky University, Czech Republic (2007-2011);
  • Trainee in Anatomic Pathology, Department of Pathology, Central University Clinic, Georgia (2005-2007);
  • Resident in Laboratory Medicine, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Tbilisi State Medical University, Georgia (2005-2006);
  • Trainee in Diagnostic Cytopathology and Cytogenetics, Department of Clinical Cytogenetics, Tbilisi State Hematology Institute, Georgia (2004-2005);
  • MD, Faculty of General Medicine, Tbilisi State Medical University, Georgia (1998-2004).

Opportunities to collaborate

If interested in protein expression protein expression in situ of prognostic, diagnostic and predictive biomarkers in prostate and bladder cancers, or quantitative analysis of protein expression using digital software, please contact Dr. Jamaspishvili directly.

Visit OICR’s Collaborative Research Resources directory for more opportunities to collaborate with OICR researchers.


Dr. Tamara Jamaspishvili