2006 Research Grants

In 2006, the following researchers received funding to support the research into the causes of and cures for brain tumours.

Dr. Glenn Bauman

Director of Research, London Regional Cancer Program
London Health Sciences Centre
Chair of Oncology, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, UWO
London, Ontario

Title of Project:
Multi-Modality Radiation Treatment Planning for Malignant Glioma.

Summary:
This study aims to compare tumour volumes defined by newer biologic imaging techniques (positron emission tomography (PET) and dynamic computed tomography (CT)) to standard imaging (contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) for delineation of malignant glioma brain tumours during radiation treatment planning. We hope to gain insight as to whether newer types of tumour imaging can improve the quality of our radiation treatments by better defining growth patterns of these tumours. The potential result is improved targeting of the tumour for treatment with radiation, with improved sparing of normal surrounding brain to limit side effects.

Research Outcome: The research team is working towards this goal by using these functional images to identify tumour regions that are more likely to resist conventional therapy. Preliminary results of this study demonstrate that DCE-CT coupled with FDG-PET can identify hypoxic tumour cores. A tumour region with high metabolism coupled with low blood flow may potentially serve as the target for more intensive RT via stereotactic RT boost or systematic therapy.

Dr. Glenn Bauman is Radiation Oncologist and Chair/Chief of Oncology, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at The University of Western 
 

Dr. Rolando Del Maestro

Director, Brain Tumour Research Center
Montreal Neurological Institute
Montreal, Quebec

Title of Project:
Evaluation of Temozolomide and MGMT levels in tumour tissues.

Summary:
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant brain tumour. Despite aggressive treatments, the survival of malignant glioma patients is approximately one year. However a recent clinical trial has demonstrated that Temozolomide (TMZ) given during and after radiation therapy improves survival of GBM patients.

MGMT is a protein which is present in many types of cells and its function is to repair genetic damage caused by drugs such as TMZ. Patients’ with glioblastoma multiforme tumours that have low levels of MGMT are more susceptible to TMZ and this results in a doubling of these patients’ survival. However TMZ does not have a significant effect in patients who have high levels of MGMT.

We have hypothesized that patients who have high MGMT content in their tumours need substantially higher amounts of TMZ to overcome the effects of this repair protein. Therefore we have designed a clinical trial in which patients with gliomas will be given TMZ for two weeks prior to surgery. On the day of surgery the MGMT activity will be assessed in the patient’s blood and specimens from multiple sites of the tumour. This study is designed to assess the effects of TMZ on brain tumours in individual patients with varying levels of MGMT. We believe the study design will provide a platform by which one can modulate the drug level necessary for individual patients and new and novel drugs can be assessed.

 

Maureen Parkinson

Rehabilitation Counsellor, Patient and Family Counselling
BC Cancer Agency
Vancouver, British Columbia

Title of Project:
Measurement of Functional Impairments and Adaptational Efforts in Persons with Malignant Gliomas: A Prospective Mixed Methods Study.

Summary:
The study will document the functional disabilities of individuals with brain tumours, the patient and caregiver perceptions of the impact of these disabilities, and the availability and utilization of services used in meeting the challenges arising from these disabilities. It will further provide the framework for an intervention study that addresses the specific care needs of this population.

 

Dr. Jean-Michel Caudrelier

Radiation Oncologist, Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre
Associate Professor, University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario

Title of Project:
Accelerated Radiation Therapy with Tomotherapy Simultaneous Integrated Boost (ARTΘSIB) using Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) with Concomitant and Adjuvant Temozolomide Chemotherapy for the Treatment of Glioblastoma.

Summary:
In this pilot phase II prospective trial, we propose to assess the feasibility and clinical outcomes of Accelerated Radiation Therapy with Tomotherapy Simultaneous Integrated Boost (ARTΘSIB) using Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) with concomitant and adjuvant Temozolomide chemotherapy for the treatment of Glioblastoma. The purpose of this trial is to assess whether a shorter course of IMRT delivered using helical tomotherapy can improve on the outcomes of current standard radiation therapy by increasing the biologically effective dose to the tumour. It is further hoped that patient quality of life will also be improved as a result of reduced treatment time. Results of this trial will hopefully provide the foundation for a definitive phase III clinical trial comparing this novel treatment regimen to the current standard regimen.

Any questions in regards to the Research Program, please call or e-mail the Research and Education Specialist:

Sue Ruypers
Research Program Specialist
sruypers@braintumour.ca
(519) 642-7755 or 1-800-265-5106 ext. 240

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