Assistant Professor

Dragana Pilavdzic

Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology - Anatomic Pathology


Lakeridge Health Network
1 Hospital Court, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Oshawa, Ontario Canada L1G 2B9
Research Interests
Clinical Interests
Immunohistochemistry, Pathology: Breast, Pathology: Anatomical
Appointment Status

Dragana Pilavdzic received her doctor of medicine degree from University of Zagreb, Croatia.

She completed her residency in Anatomical Pathology at the University of Toronto and subsequently worked in Winnipeg from 1996-2000. She then moved to Montreal where she worked in a general surgical pathology practice in St. Mary’s Hospital.  

She developed an interest in breast pathology and moved to subspeciality breast practice at the Jewish General Hospital and McGill University in 2007. Since then, her practice has focussed on breast diagnostics and breast biomarkers with a primary interest in quality assurance.  

She is also actively involved in teaching of medical students, residents and fellows.

Dr Pilavdzic has been very active in the Canadian Association of Pathologists (CAP-ACP) throughout her pathology career. She served as Chair of the Anatomical Pathology section of CAP-ACP and participated in the first guidelines issued by that association.  

She facilitated the formation of Canadian Immunohistochemistry Quality Control program (cIQc), which was critical for promoting the profile of Pathology during the crises arising from breast biomarker errors in Canada.

She has been a member-at-large of the Section on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance (PSQA) where she has contributed to developing and refining policies and guidelines.  

As the Chair of the local organizing committee for the July 2010 Montreal CAP Annual meeting, she demonstrated her leadesrship in the organization of the meeting and particularly in collaboration with exhibitors.

Dr Pilavdzic has proposed to organize multi-institutional exchanges of standard operating procedures, and to establish links of support for members of the CAP-ACP.  She is committed to improving and maintaining quality assurance in breast pathology, and is actively supportive of the initiatives of the PSQA and of many other activities of the Canadian Association of Pathologists.


Research Synopsis


I am interested in quality assurance of multidisciplinary approach to breast pathology (malignant, borderline and benign lesions) combining clinical, imaging and pathology findings and immunohistochemistry, in particular breast biomarkers.


Recent Publications


Hanna, W., Barnes P., Berendt R., Chang M., Magliocco A., Mulligan A.M., Rees H., Miller N., Elavathil L., Gilks B., Pettigrew N., Pilavdzic D., SenGupta S.: HER2 testing in breast cancer: current pathology challenges faced in Canada. In Press Curr Oncol. 2012.

Sahebjam S., Aloyz R., Pilavdzic D., Brisson M.L., Ferrario C., Bouganim N., Cohen V., Miller W.H.Jr., Panasci L.C.: Ki 67 is a major, but not the sole determinant of Oncotype Dx rucurrance score. Br J Cancer 2011;105(9):1342-5.

Cheung C.C., Neufeld H., Lining L.A., Pilavdzic D., Copete M., Garratt J., Gilks B., Torlakovic E.E.: The laboratory score/reference method score ratio (LSRSR) is a novel tool for monitoring laboratory performance in immunohistochemistry proficiency testing of hormone receptors in breast cancer. Am J Clin Pathol 2011;136:67-73.

CAP-ACP National Stardards Committee, Torlakovic E.E., Riddell R., Banerjee D., El-Zimaity H., Pilavdzic D., Dawe P., Flynn G., Magliocco A., Barnes P., Berendt R., Cook D., Gilks B., Williams G., Perez-Ordonez B., Wehril B., Swanson PE., Otis CN., Nielsen S., Vyberg M., Butany J., for the Canadian Association of Pathologists, National Standards Committee / Immunohistochemistry. Best practice recommendations for standardization of immunohistochemistry tests. Am J Clin Pathol 2010 Mar;133(3):354-65.

Terry J., Torlakovic E.E., Garratt J., Miller D., Kobel M., Cooper J., Bahzad S., Pilavdzic D., O’Malley F., Brien A.E., Sengupta S., Alport E., Tétu B., Knight B., Pettigrew N.M., Berendt R., Wolber R., Trotter M.J., Riddell R.H., Gaboury L., Elms F., Magliocco A., Barnes P., Gown A.M., Gilks C.B. Implementation of a Canadian external quality assurance program for breast cancer biomarkers: an initiative of Canadian quality control in immunohistochemistry (cIQc) and Canadian Association of Pathologists (CAP) National Standards Committee / Immunohistochemistry. Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol 2009;17(5):375-382.