Associate Professor, Surgery
- Complex General Surgical Oncology
Director of Surgical Education, Clerkship Director, Graduate Medical Education
Tuesday afternoons, alternating Thursdays and Fridays
Sabha Ganai, MD, PhD, MPH, FACS is a Surgical Oncologist and cancer disparities researcher at Sanford Health, a large 44-hospital system that serves the Northern Plains states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. She is the Director of Surgical Education and an Associate Professor of Surgery at University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences and is a Clinical Investigator at Sanford Research. She is board-certified in public health, general surgery, and complex general surgical oncology. While she has a broad background in the applied sciences, her research efforts have been in the scope of population health, examining disparities in cancer staging and oncologic outcomes based on provider density and distance from high-volume centers, with a focus of studying specific barriers for rural populations.
Dr. Ganai received the 2015-2017 Health Care Disparities Award from the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract and the 2016 Michael Zinner Fellowship from the Surgical Outcomes Club. She is on the Editorial Board for Annals of Surgical Oncology. She maintains an environment that is productive and challenging, with a strong collaborative approach to her clinical work and her research. Her career goals as an academic surgical oncologist and early investigator are to conduct collaborative population-based investigative work focusing on disparities in access to care and the surgical management of gastrointestinal and soft tissue malignancies.
- Rural Cancer Disparities
- Geographic Information Systems
- Health Services Research and Quality Improvement / Implementation Science
- Gastrointestinal and Hepatopancreaticobiliary Surgery
- Surgical Ethics
- Robotic Complex Oncologic Surgery
Detail on Dr. Ganai’s published work and Peer Review History can be accessed via publons:
- Hazra R, Dutta D, Mamnoon B, Nair G, Knight A, Mallik S, Ganai S, Reindl K, Jiang L, Quadir M. Polymeric composite matrix with high biobased content as a pharmaceutically relevant molecular encapsulation and release platform. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
- Miller P, John P, Ganai S. How should surgical palliative success be defined? AMA J Ethics
- Schlogl M, Pak E, Bansal AD, Schell JO, Ganai S, Kamal AH, Swetz KM, Maguire JM, Perrakis A, Warraich HJ, Jones CA. Top Ten Tips Palliative Care Clinicians Should Know About Prognostication in Critical Illness and Heart, Kidney, and Liver Diseases. J Palliative Med 2021.
- Zahnd WE, Gomez SL, Steck SE, Brown MJ, Ganai S, Zhang J, Arp Adams S, Berger FG, Eberth JM. Rural-urban and Racial/Ethnic trends and disparities in Early-Onset and Average-Onset Colorectal Cancer. Cancer 2021; 127(2): 239-248. PMID: 33112412.
- Feimster J, Ganai S, Scaife S, Mellinger JD. Determinants of 90-day readmission following ventral hernia repair with and without myocutaneous flap reconstruction: a National Readmissions Database analysis. Surgical Endoscopy 2020; 34(10): 4662-4668. PMID: 31741152.
- McDow AD, Zahnd WE, Angelos P, Mellinger JD, Ganai S. Impact of Rurality on National Trends in Thyroid Cancer Incidence and Long-term Survival. J Rural Health PMID: 31099945.
- LeBlanc TW, Marron JM, Ganai S, Spence RA, Tap WD, Tenner L, Hlubocky FJ. Prognostication and Communication in Oncology. J Oncol Pract 2019; 15(4): 208-215. PMID: 30908141.
- Fogleman AJ, Zahnd WE, Lipka AE, Mahli RS, Ganai S, Delfino KR, Jenkins WD. Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceived Barriers toward Genetic Testing across Three Rural Illinois Communities. J Community Genetics 2019; 10(3): 417-423. PMID: 30673953.
- Khan AA, Rakinic J, Kim RH, Mellinger JD, Ganai S. National trends in general surgery resident exposure to complex oncology-relevant cases. J Surg Ed 2019; 76(2): 378-386. PMID: 30253983.
- Sturm EC, Zahnd WE, Mellinger JD, Ganai S. Survival Implications of Increased Utilization of Local Excision for cT1N0 Esophageal Cancer. Ann Surg 2019; 270(2): 295-301. PMID: 29672407.
- Akhtar AS, Hellekson CD, Ganai S, Hahn OM, Maggiore RJ, Cohen EE, Posner MC, Chmura SJ, Howard AR, Golden DW. Interdisciplinary Oncology Education: A National Survey of Trainees and Program Directors in the United States. J Cancer Educ 2018; 33(3): 622-626. PMID: 27873183.
- Pitroda S, Khodarev N, Huang L, Uppal A, Wightman S, Ganai S, Joseph N, Xue L, Weber, C, Segal J, Stack M, Khan SA, Paty P, Kaul K, White K, Talamonti MS, Posner MC, Hellman S, Weichselbaum RR. Integrated Molecular Subtyping Defines a Curable Oligometastatic State in Colorectal Liver Metastasis. Nature Commun 2018; 9(1): 1793. PMID: 29728604.
- Buckley EJ, Zahnd WE, Rea DJ, Mellinger JD, Ganai S. Impact of Rural-Urban Status on Survival after Mastectomy without Reconstruction versus Mastectomy with Reconstruction. Am J Surg 2017; 214(4): 645-650. PMID: 28701264.
- Wightman SC, Posner MC, Patti MG, Ganai S, Watson S, Prachand V, Ferguson MK. Extremes of body mass index and postoperative complications after esophagectomy. Dis Esophagus 2017; 30(5): 1-6. PMID: 28375438.
- Tehrani N, Lehman A, Ganai S, Desai S. Implementation of an Early Palliative Care Referral Program: A Pilot Study in Quality Improvement. J Palliative Med 2016; epub. PMID: 27792452.
- Alanee S, Ganai S, Gupta P, Holland B, Dynda D, Slaton J. Disparities in long-term radiographic follow up after cystectomy for bladder cancer: Analysis of the SEER-Medicare Database. Urol Ann 2016; 8(2): 178-183. PMID 27141188.
- Wightman SC, Uppal A, Pitroda SP, Ganai S, Burnette B, Stack M, Oshima G, Khan S, Huang X, Posner MC, Weichselbaum RR, Khodarev NN. Oncogenic CXCL10 signalling drives metastasis development and poor clinical outcome. Br J Cancer 2015; 113(2): 327-335. PMID 26042934.
- Devon KM, Lerner-Ellis JP, Ganai S, Angelos P. Ethics and Genomic Medicine: How to Navigate Decisions in Surgical Oncology. J Surg Oncol 2015; 111(1):18-23. PMID: 25183289.
- Holland B, Alanee S, Dynda D, Kamel O, Ganai S. Primary Tumor Size Predicts Pathologic Findings in the Retroperitoneal Lymph Nodes in Patients with Paratesticular Rhabdomyosarcoma. Virchow Arch 2014; 465(6): 697-701. PMID: 25293343.
- Bruns SD, Davis BR, Demirjian AN, Ganai S, House MG, Saidi RF, Shah BC, Tan SA, Murayama KM. The sub-specialization of surgery: a paradigm shift. J Gastrointest Surg 2014; 18(8): 1523-1531. PMID 24756925.
- Uppal A, Wightman SC, Ganai S, Weichselbaum RR, An G. Investigation of the essential role of platelet-tumor cell interactions in metastasis progression using an agent-based model. Theor Biol Med Model 2014; 11(1): 17. PMID: 24725600.
- Ganai S. Disclosure of surgical experience. World J Surg 2014; 38(7): 1622-1625. PMID: 24722865.
- Ganai S, Ferguson MK. Can we predict morbidity and mortality before an operation? Thorac Surg Clin 2013; 23(3): 287-299. PMID: 23931013.
- Devon K, Ganai S. Online medical professionalism. Ann Intern Med 2013; 159(2): 157-158. PMID: 23856690.
- Ganai S, Prachand VN, Posner MC, Alverdy JC, Choi E, Hussain M, Waxman I, Patti MG, Roggin KK. Predictors of unsuccessful laparoscopic resection of gastric submucosal neoplasms. J Gastrointest Surg 2013; 17(2): 244-256. PMID: 23225195.
- Lussier YA, Khodarev NN, Regan K, Corbin K, Li H, Ganai S, Khan SA, Gnerlich J, Darga TE, Fan H, Karpenko O, Paty PB, Posner MC, Chmura SJ, Hellman S, Ferguson MK, Weichselbaum RR. Oligo and polymetastatic progression in lung metastasis(es) patients is associated with specific microRNAs. PLoS One 2012; 7(12): e50141. PMID: 23251360/23762218.
- Ganai S, Ferguson MK. Quality of life in the high-risk candidate for lung resection. Thorac Surg Clin 2012; 22(4): 497-508. PMID: 23084613.
- Ganai S, Winchester DJ. Screening mammography: bringing back into focus the value of a life-saving intervention. Cancer 2011; 117(14): 3062-3063. PMID: 21720987.
- Ganai S, Arenas RB, Sauer JP, Bentley B, Forbes NS. In tumors Salmonella migrate away from vasculature toward the transition zone and induce apoptosis. Cancer Gene Ther 2011; 18(7): 457-466. PMID: 21436868.
- Ganai S, Winchester DP. Understanding the kinetics of cancer: implications from prevention to prognostication. Oncology (Williston Park) 2011; 25(1): 50, 56, 58. PMID: 21361244.
- Ganai S, Arenas RB, Forbes NS. Tumour-targeted delivery of TRAIL using Salmonella typhimurium enhances breast cancer survival in mice. Br J Cancer 2009; 101(10): 1683-1691. PMID: 19861961.
- Kanumuri P, Ganai S, Wohaibi EM, Bush RW, Grow DR, Seymour NE. Virtual reality and computer-enhanced training devices equally improve laparoscopic surgical skill in novices. J Soc Laparoendosc Surg 2008; 12(3): 219-226. PMID: 18765042.
- Ganai S, Lee KF, Merrill A, Lee MH, Bellantonio S, Brennan M, Lindenauer P. Adverse outcomes of geriatric patients undergoing abdominal surgery who are at high risk for delirium. Arch Surg 2007; 142(11): 1072-1078. PMID: 18025336.
- Garb JL, Ganai S, Boyd CS, Skinner R, Wait RB. Using GIS for spatial analysis of rectal lesions in the human body. Int J Health Geogr 2007; 15(6): 11. PMID: 17362510.
- Ganai S, Donroe JA, St. Louis MR, Lewis GM, Seymour NE. Virtual-reality training improves angled telescope skills in novice laparoscopists. Am J Surg 2007; 193(2): 260-265. PMID: 17236859.
- Ganai S, Garb JL, Kanumuri P, Rao RS, Alexander AI, Wait RB. Mapping the rectum: spatial analysis of transanal endoscopic microsurgical outcomes using GIS technology. J Gastrointest Surg 2006; 10(1): 22-31. PMID: 16368487.
- Ganai S, Kanumuri P, Rao RS, Alexander AI. Local recurrence following transanal endoscopic microsurgery for rectal polyps and early cancers. Ann Surg Oncol 2006; 13(4): 547-556. PMID: 16514476.
- Klein S, Munshi IA, Engelman D, Ganai S, Kulshrestha P. Innominate artery transection secondary to blunt trauma. J Trauma 2003; 54(1): 202. PMID: 12549489.
Book Chapters and Textbooks
- Curto E, Sticca RP, Ganai S. Chapter 8: Goals of Care Discussions in High-Risk Surgery. Difficult Decisions in Surgical Ethics. Springer 2021.
- Mistry K, Devon KM, Ganai S. Chapter 9: Ethics of Telehealth. Difficult Decisions in Surgical Ethics. Springer 2021.
- Nemetz E, Ganai S, Devon KM. Chapter 12: Ethics Education. Difficult Decisions in Surgical Ethics. Springer 2021.
- Ganai S. Informed Consent and Disclosure of Surgical Experience. Surgical Ethics – Principles and Practice. Springer 2019.
- Ganai S, Devon KM. Teaching Surgical Ethics. Surgeons as Teachers, Springer 2018.
- Chastain LK, Ganai S. Informed Consent and Disclosure of Surgical Experience. Ethical Issues in Anesthesia and Surgery. Springer 2015.
- Ganai S, Posner MC. Surgical Oncology Consult: Upper Gastrointestinal Cancers. Expert Clinical Perspective: Controversies and Uncertainties in Diagnosis & Management of Cancer. Wiley-Blackwell Health Sciences 2015.
- Ganai S. Optimal Surgical Approach to Esophagectomy for Distal Esophageal Adenocarcinoma. Difficult Decisions in Thoracic Surgery: An Evidence-Based Approach. Ed: Mark K. Ferguson. Third Edition. Springer 2014.
- Ganai S. Targeting Bacteriolytic Therapy of Solid Tumors with Attenuated Salmonella typhimurium. (Doctoral Dissertation) Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007; 200 pages. AAT 3289263. ISBN: 9780549330721.
1997 B.S. - Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering
2001 M.D. - University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
2007 Ph.D. - Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
2010 Surgery Residency - Tufts University / Baystate Medical Center
2012 Surgical Ethics Fellowship - MacLean Center for Medical Ethics
2013 Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship - University of Chicago Medical Center
2017 M.P.H. - Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Dr. Ganai is experienced in the multidisciplinary management of complex pancreaticobiliary, foregut, endocrine, and soft tissue tumors. She is facile in laparoscopic surgery and uses the DaVinci Xi robot for liver, pancreas, and gastrointestinal surgery. She cares about teaching her patients and their families about their disease process and carrying them through their journey towards wellness.
Funding Agency: National Institutes of Health 5UT2GM130175-03 $ 25,000
SHARP Hub; PI – Becky Aistrup, PhD
Project Title: Augmented Reality Training for Mastery of Open Operations
Project Period: September 2020 – August 2021 (No-Cost Extension Requested)
Role: Sub-Award Principal Investigator (replacing M. Jensen)
Project Goal(s): This study seeks to assess the use of augmented reality by surgical residents during the conduct of simulated surgical tasks and procedures.
Funding Agency: National Institutes of Health 5P20GM121341-04 $ 98,400
Sanford Population Health COBRE; PI – Jill Weimer, PhD
Project Title: An Exploration of Rural-Urban Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Care in North Dakota and South Dakota
Project Period: January 2021 – December 2021 (No-Cost Extension granted to May 2022)
Role: Sub-award Principal Investigator
Project Goal(s): This study seeks to discern the importance of spatial and aspatial disparities in access to colorectal cancer care and how they impact outcomes from colorectal cancer in two rural Northern Plains states: North Dakota and South Dakota.
Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute 3R01CA204193-03S1 $ 13,521
NCI R01 Cost Supplement; PI – Robert Krouse, MD (UPenn)
Project Title: Ostomy Telehealth Self-management Training for Cancer Survivors
Project Period: September 2021 – August 2022
Role: Sub-award Co-Investigator
Project Goal(s): This study seeks to identify the costs of care for cancer patients with ostomies through analysis of claims data.
Funding Agency: National Institutes of Health U54GM128729 $ 56,000
DaCCoTA; PI – Marc Basson, MD (UND)
Project Title: Artificial intelligence (AI)-based cancer diagnosis using chromatin architectures in cell-free DNA
Project Period: September 2021 – May 2022
Role: Sub-award Co-PI
Project Goal(s): This study seeks to profile the epigenome in cell free DNA from patients with pancreas cancer and healthy individuals, and will help develop a computational tool based on analyses.
Funding Agency: National Institutes of Health U54GM128729 $ 56,000
DaCCoTA; PI – Marc Basson, MD (UND)
Project Title: Chemotherapy delivery via engineered ‘Nano-missiles’ for halting progression of pancreas cancer
Project Period: October 2021 – May 2022
Role: Sub-award Co-PI
Project Goal(s): This study seeks to enhance delivery of chemotherapy to pancreas cancer using a targeted release system.
Funding Agency: Hillsboro Area Hospital, Hillsboro, Illinois (Montgomery County) $ 50,000
Project Title: Implementation of a Lung Cancer Screening Program in Hillsboro, Illinois
Project Period: July 2018 – June 2019
Role: Principal Investigator
Project Goal(s): The goal of this study is to implement a low-dose CT screening program in a rural county with high lung cancer mortality. Study aims include analyzing tumor registry data, administering a survey instrument to community members, and development of a prospective registry and implementation plan for a sustainable program.
Funding Agency: Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT) $ 40,000
Project Title: Spatial Analysis of Rural Disparities in Staging and Oncologic Outcomes for Esophageal and Pancreas Cancer
Project Period: July 2015 – June 2017
Role: Principal Investigator
Project Goal(s): The goal of this study is to assess rural-urban disparities in staging and population-level cancer mortality rates for esophageal and pancreas cancer in Illinois based on neighborhood-level spatial accessibility indices using multilevel modeling and Bayesian statistical approaches.
- Ganai S. Innovation and Pushing the Limits of Practice at Digestive Disease Week. Medscape OpMed, June 1, 2021. https://opmed.doximity.com/articles/innovation-and-pushing-the-limits-of-practice-at-digestive-disease-week
- Ganai S. Health Policy Highlights from the ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program. ASCO Daily News, July 8, 2020. https://dailynews.ascopubs.org/do/10.1200/ADN.20.200245/full/
- Zahnd WE, Ganai S. Access to Care in Rural Populations: Barriers and Solutions. ASCO Daily News; April 3, 2019. https://dailynews.ascopubs.org/do/10.1200/ADN.19.190161/full/
- Ganai S. The Other. Narrat Inq Bioeth 2019; 9(3): 211-214. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/746381
- Ganai S. A Teacher, Not Forgotten. Bulletin Am Coll Surg 2018; 103(10): 44-46. http://bulletin.facs.org/2018/10/a-teacher-not-forgotten/
- Ganai S. Quasi-Normative Error. The Academic Surgeon. June 4, 2017. http://www.aasurg.org/blog/quasi-normative-error/
- Ganai S. Breast Cancer Boot Camp, or Why Do Clinical Trials Take So Much Effort? The Academic Surgeon. November 3, 2016. http://www.aasurg.org/blog/breast-cancer-boot-camp-clinical-trials-take-much-effort/
- Ganai S, Choti M, Thirunavukarasu P, Aloia TA. Timing of Therapies for Patients with Resectable Colorectal Hepatic Metastases. ASCO Connection 22 Apr 2015. May 2015, pages XX-XX https://connection.asco.org/magazine/current-controversies-oncology/timing-therapies-patients-resectable-hepatic-colorectal
- Ganai S. “The Nuts and Bolts of Fellowship”. SSAT Residents Corner. July 2014. http://ssat.com/residents/mentor/?dID=4
- Ganai S, Crane C, Tempero M. Neoadjuvant Therapy for Resectable Pancreas Cancer. ASCO Connection 25 Feb 2014. March 2014, pages 22-25; http://connection.asco.org/Magazine/Article/id/3804/Neoadjuvant-Therapy-for-Resectable-Pancreatic-Cancer.aspx