2013 Researcher Dr. Mark Ruschin

Comparison of healthy tissue sparing using different radiation delivery devices for focal irradiation of multiple brain metastases

Dr. Mark Ruschin brain tumour researcherDr. Mark Ruschin
Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre, Toronto, ON
Award: $18,500

Dr. Ruschin's project is funded in memory of and through the generosity of Donald J.T.A. de Jong



Project Summary:

Brain metastases occur in 20-40% of people with cancer, and will lead to over 7,000 diagnosed cases in 2013. For these individuals, quality of life is of the utmost importance. The traditional approach to managing patients with brain metastases is to perform whole brain radiation, in which the entire brain receives a uniform dose of radiation in order to stop the diagnosed brain metastases from growing, and to prevent new brain metastases from forming.

Whole brain radiotherapy, however, adversely affects cognitive function and limits further treatment should additional brain metastases develop. Focal radiation targets individual brain metastases and spares the healthy brain, which maintains better cognitive function and provides excellent tumor control. Various radiation therapy technologies are capable of focal radiation.

One new device has recently become Health Canada approved and exhibits improved characteristics over predecessors such as faster radiation delivery, and lower leakage radiation. We hypothesize that this new device can be used to treat patients with multiple brain metastases in a focal/ablative fashion, thus better preserving patients’ cognitive function and improving quality of life. The focus of this work is technique development and a comparison of radiation dose distributions to the current standard.

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