Radiation Oncology

Our Division’s research programs focus on:

  1. Image-guided adaptive radiotherapy – this paradigm has emerged as the key approach to detect cancerous tissue, target delivery of precision-guided ionizing radiation, and monitor treatment response. We are strong participants in cooperative group (RTOG, NCIC, OCOG, and COG) and investigator-initiated trials. In addition, an exciting avenue in cancer prognostication is the use of machine-learning approaches to MRI image features to predict brain tumor outcomes.
  2.  Normal tissue late effects, examining single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) involved in DNA damage response and tissue remodeling/repair, as a genetic approach to predict normal tissues response to ionizing radiation. In addition, the Canadian Radiation Hypersensitivity Tissue Bank has been established for patients who have had an unexpectedly severe reaction to radiation. These tissues are available for collaborators to allow research into the mechanisms of severe reactions.
  3. Novel therapeutics in radiation oncology in order to optimize radiation therapy efficacy/toxicity ratio:
    • Use of new agents aimed at targets which modify cellular responses to RT
    • Nano-carrier platform for chemotherapeutics and radiation therapeutics in breast, lung, and prostate cancer
    • Surgical salivary gland transfer before head and neck radiotherapy in conjunction with precision-guided RT
  4. Cancer services delivery research focusing on:
    • Service innovation in palliative radiotherapy
    • Quality of care and population outcome research in radiation oncology