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Programs: Oncology

Urology |  Oncology  |  Neurosurgery |  Orthopedics
  Industrial Partners:
Sonometrics, MDS-Nordion, Tomotherapy Inc , GE-Canada, Image Guided Neurologics, Xillix, Philips Medical Systems, Varian

Institutional Partners:
RRI, LRCC, UHN, SWCHSC, KRCC, Queens University

Principal Investigators:
Battista, VanDyk, Munro, Sherar, Schreiner, Caldwell, Fenster, Kucharczyk, Bronskill, Wilson, Plewes


The oncology program has a major focus on the integration of image guidance and monitoring in radiation therapy. A second focus on breast cancer will develop tools for image-guided diagnosis and therapy including MRI and ultrasound guided biopsy, and optical monitoring of photodynamic therapy. Radiation medicine is at a turning point that is presenting numerous commercialization opportunities. To date, all patients are treated by standard prescriptions with little patient specific inforrnation considered except the initial geometry of the tumour and surrounding normal tissues. Imaging tools are now becoming available that can provide patient specific information on real time tracking of target and critical normal tissue location, functional imaging including blood flow and hypoxia, and radiobiological parameters such as the sensitivity of cells to radiation. The next ten years will see the automatic integration of this quantitative imaging information into standard radiation therapy resulting in a transformation from "patient specific" to "tumour specific" approaches in this field.

Women presenting with palpable, non cystic breast lumps, or asymptomatic women found to have suspicious findings during screening marnmography usually require a biopsy to obtain a definitive diagnosis. Currently, there is a clear trend towards image guided needle biopsy, which usually obviates the need for open surgical biopsy. With our industrial partners, we are developing key innovations to improve image-guided breast biopsy. These involve the facility to guide a needle tip accurately to a targeted location in the breast, and the ability to show the abnormality in 3D and view its exact relationship with adjacent structures and the lesion.

The major companies producing radiation therapy technology or ultrasound imaging instrumentation are American owned or multi-national. Our goal is to network the intellectual resources in Ontario such that OCITS will attract new commercial R & D operations to the province. In addition, the production of Ontario-owned IP in this area will strengthen our homegrown industrial partners and spur the formation of new Ontario companies in this field. The technical resource and intellectual base built by increasing research activity in Ontario will benefit Ontario companies in this field in terms of the availability of highly qualified personnel and potential strategic alliances with larger companies for worldwide marketing and distribution.

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Last modified Friday, June 13, 2008