Ralf Paschke

Professor

Medicine (Endocrinology)

PhD, MD


Contact information


Preferred method of communication

ADMIN ASSISTANT

Trang Pham

Email: tpham@ucalgary.ca

Office: 403-220-3319


Research and teaching

Area of Focus

  • Endocrinology

Summary of Research

Dr. Paschke's clinics at RRDTC and TBCC concentrate on thyroid diseases, thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer. He is the local PI for a tyrosine kinase inhibitor dose finding study for the treatment of radioiodine resistant thyroid cancer and previously served as PI for 4 other phase III studies investigating TKIs for radioiodine resistant thyroid cancer.

With Dr. Paula Seal (EFW) and Dr. Chris Symonds, he has implemented standardized ultrasound malignancy risk stratification for thyroid nodules in Calgary which should identify about 50% of thyroid nodules as benign based on ultrasound charcterisation.

With his longtime collaborator Dr. Markus Eszlinger he is directing a research laboratory in the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute. Together with Dr. Moosa Khalil, Dr. Sana Ghaznavi and his student Paul Stewardson Dr. Paschke and Dr. Eszlinger are aiming for a major change of clinical practice by solving the inherent limitations of fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC). FNAC is unable to distinguish between benign and malignant follicular tumors in 20% of cases thus currently requiring about 700 “diagnostic” surgeries in Alberta with malignancy found in only 20%. The molecular test devised by Dr. Eszlinger and Dr. Paschke has the potential to replace most if not all diagnostic surgeries for indeterminate FNACs by molecular testing of FNAC material. This could allow allocation of these patients to either follow up for mutation and miRNA negative samples or primary total thyroidectomy for those patients whose FNAC samples are mutation positive.

Together with his student Alexandra Stephenson and Jukka Kero at the University of Turku, Finland he is currently working on the further characterization of a knock-in mouse model of non-autoimmune hyperthyroidism and other genetically modified mouse models.

Together with Dr. Chris Symonds (Chair of the Calgary thyroid tumour team) and colleagues from Endocrinology, Surgery, Pathology, Radiology, Medical and Radiation Oncology, Dr. Paschke is working towards the introduction of a multidisciplinary thyroid cancer clinic (MDTCC) in Calgary to provide a one stop, guideline-oriented and risk-stratified diagnosis, treatment and follow up for thyroid cancer patients.


Biography

Dr. Ralf Paschke is Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology, Head Division and Zone Chief of Endocrinology & Metabolism and chair of the provincial thyroid and neuroendocrine tumour team. He is cross appointed to the Division of Oncology, Division of CLS/Pathology and the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His research laboratory is located in the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute.

Dr. Paschke spent 4 years as a Heisenberg Professor in a molecular laboratory in the Institute of Interdisciplinary Research at the Universite Libre in Brussels, Belgium working on the molecular etiology of hot thyroid nodules and the mechanism of activation of the TSHR. He was appointed Professor of Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at the University of Leipzig in 1995. His major research interests include thyroid cancer, thyroid nodules, thyroid nodule molecular fine needle cytology (FNAC) diagnostics, the TSH-receptor and diseases caused by TSH-receptor mutations (www.tsh-receptor-mutation-database.org). He trained in Pathology, Internal Medicine and Endocrinology in the university hospitals of Frankfurt, Mannheim and Muenster. He served for 9 years as Director of the Medical Department III at Leipzig University with the sections Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nephrology. He was also the coordinator for endocrine research and deputy chairman of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Clinical Research at the University of Leipzig, Germany. He is the author of more than 270 original publications, co-author of several thyroid guidelines and serves on the editorial boards of several journals including Thyroid and the JCEM.