For Scientists and Clinicians

At our institution, high dose rate brachytherapy has been used since 1998 as a pre-operative radiation modality and more than 1200 patients have been treated with very favorable oncological outcomes when compared to matched pair control (Breugom et al. 2015). This modality is offered to patients with stage II and early stage III (N1) rectal cancer as a treatment option to standard chemotherapy and external beam radiotherapy versus short-course pelvic external beam radiotherapy. It is a solution for patients who have received previous pelvic radiation and need tumor downstaging prior to surgery.

Currently, our team is developing a novel applicator for treatment of rectal cancer equipped with a radiation shield that rotates during the treatment, delivering a high dose to the tumor through its emission window to increase the cure rates while shielding radiation sensitive surrounding healthy tissue to decrease the side effects of radiation. We are also developing a comprehensive treatment planning software consisting of accurate dose calculation methods and optimization algorithms to calculate and plan a more accurate dose to the tumor and surrounding healthy tissues. Artificial Intelligence methods are under development for accurate tumor segmentation and treatment outcome prediction

RESEARCH PROTOCOLS

This study explores the use of a novel rectal applicator approved by Health Canada which could considerably reduce the treatment time and provide a more comfortable experience for patients.

Read more about the protocol here

This study is exploring two non-operative treatment strategies using dose escalation either with External Beam Radiation (Arm A) or targeted Endorectal Brachytherapy (Arm B). 

Read more about the protocol here

This pilot study seeks to provide information to patients regarding present available treatment options and their related side effects. 

Read more about the protocol here

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the degree of low anterior resection syndrome manifested in patients with cancer treated in the pelvic area (rectal and anal canal) and that were treated with surgery alone (low anterior resection and subsequent ileostomy reversal),

Read more about the protocol here