Dr. Richard Kirsch is Section Head of Surgical Pathology at Mount
Sinai Hospital and an Associate Professor in the Department of
Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto.
He obtained his medical degree and PhD from the University of Cape
Town, South Africa, where he also undertook his specialty training in
Anatomic Pathology. After a Fellowship in Gastrointestinal and Liver
Pathology at the University of Toronto, he was appointed as a Staff
Pathologist at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Dr. Kirsch’s primary research interest is in the field of colorectal
cancer, in particular prognostic factors such as venous invasion, tumor
budding, tumor grade, peritoneal invasion and the host immune-response.
Other interests include inflammatory bowel disease, non-alcoholic fatty
liver disease (NAFLD) and diagnostic challenges in gastrointestinal
Dr. Kirsch has drawn attention to the widespread underreporting of
venous invasion in colorectal cancer. Venous invasion is a powerful
predictor of haematogenous spread and mortality, and its presence may
influence adjuvant treatment decisions. His group demonstrated the
utility of elastin stains in enhancing the detection of venous
Dr. Kirsch has also drawn attention to the importance of tumor
budding, an emerging and powerful prognostic factor tumor in colorectal
cancer. He led a study showing tumor budding to be an independent
predictor of disease recurrence and mortality in a large cohort stage
II colorectal cancer patients from the QUASAR trial.
He was a member of the Steering Committee of the International
Consensus Conference on Tumor Budding (ITBCC) held in Bern, Switzerland
(April 2016) which produced the first internationally recognized,
evidence-based definition and method for the assessment of tumor
budding. This paves the way for incorporation of tumor budding into
standard pathology reporting guidelines and protocols.
Dr. Kirsch serves as a member of a number of expert panels for
Cancer Care Ontario and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.