Radiation Oncology Physics has a vibrant research program.  Many of the research projects are clinically-based and inform current practice, while others are more theoretical and focused on simulations.  Topics of current research include:

  1. Radiotherapy continues to evolve as new technology is developed.

    This group is interested in how to best plan, treat and verify the dose delivery of radiotherapy in a variety of sites.  Different treatment planning systems have different strengths and weaknesses.  Understanding these and optimizing the plans produced has a profound effect on the quality of patient care.  One focus is the application to current radiation therapy techniques, particularly volumetric modulated arc therapy and techniques using small field dosimetry such as stereotactic radiotherapy.

  1. The Tom Baker Cancer Centre is a leader in brachytherapy for many different sites.

    Brachytherapy involves the temporary or permanent implant of radioactive ‘seeds’ into, or in close proximity to, the tumour.  Radiation Oncology Physics research projects in this area include development of reproducible patient-specific breast molds for oncologist training and controlled studies, Monte Carlo and in vivo measurements of skin dose in breast brachytherapy, and assessment of motion between imaging protocols in gynecological brachytherapy. 

  1. 4D Radiotherapy and Tumor Motion Management.

    Respiratory motion is a major limiting factor in accurate radiotherapy of several sites, including breast, lung, and liver.  This group is interested in how respiratory motion may be accounted for in the clinic. Respiration will change a planned treatment, but the magnitude of that effect depends on the pattern of motion, treatment technique, and patient-specific anatomical features.  This research will inform planning, set-up, and treatment practice for sites most affected by respiratory motion.

  1. Monte Carlo methods are used to investigate an array of problems in radiation therapy.

    This calculation method is seen as the ‘gold standard’ in many areas of the field, and provides valuable insight into biological responses and radiation dose deposition.  Current/recent projects focus on: gold nanoparticle dose enhancement, radiation-induced bystander effects, predictions of biological response, and dosimetry in the presence of magnetic fields. 

Medical Physics Journals