2015 Researcher Paula Foster

“Investigating the impact of radiation-induced damage on promoting metastatic tumour growth in the brain”

Dr. Paula Foster, Scientist/Associate Professor, Medical Biophysics, University of Western Ontario/Robarts Research Institute 

Project Summary:

Brain metastasis occurs in 25-50% of metastatic breast cancer patients. The prospect of being diagnosed with brain metastases is terrifying; the median time from diagnosis with brain metastases to death is between 1 and 6 months, depending on the extent of metastases and how they are managed. Whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) is standard treatment for breast cancer patients with multiple brain metastases.  In this scenario the healthy brain tissue receives significant doses of radiation. Radiotherapy is known to have multiple negative consequences in normal brain including tissue death, cognitive deficits and inflammation.  

Inflammation caused by radiotherapy is now known to promote metastasis, cancer cell migration and invasiveness.  In this project we will use two mouse models of triple negative breast cancer brain metastasis along with advanced MRI techniques to monitor the impact of WBRT-induced inflammation on the arrest and persistence of metastatic cancer cells in the brain and the development of brain metastases.  

It is crucial to understand whether radiotherapy induced inflammation in the healthy brain enhances the development of brain metastases. Our results will provide an understanding of the influence that radiotherapy has on brain tumour development and whether radiotherapy could be improved by the addition of anti-inflammatory agents.


< Back to all 2015 Research Grant Awardees 

Share This

Featured Story

Courtney’s Story of Stability

Stability. It’s a strange concept when you have what it known to be a progressive, life long illness. You hear the words, “Your tumour growth is stable” and for a moment you think someone is playing the world’s worst prank on you.

Learn more


Stephen's Story: "I have faith that we will meet again"

Stephen and I chatted on what should have been his 32nd Wedding Anniversary. Stephen and Susan were married for 30 years and were best...

Learn more

Tommy's Story: Fellowship recipient

Dr. Tommy Alain, the very first research Fellow funded by Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada through the William Donald Nash Brain...

Learn more

Upcoming Events

  • 17/Jan/2018: Windsor Support Group: Meets at the United Way, Unit A1, 300 Giles Blvd. East... Learn more >
  • 17/Jan/2018: Calgary Support Group: Meets at Wellspring Calgary, 1404 Home Road NW, Calgary, Alberta, T3B 1G7... Learn more >
  • 17/Jan/2018: Niagara Region Support Group: Meets at Wellspring Niagara, 3250 Schmon Parkway, Thorold, ON, L2V 4Y6... Learn more >
  • 17/Jan/2018: Winnipeg Support Group: Sturgeon Creek United Church, 207 Thompson Drive, Winnipeg, MB... Learn more >
View All Events >
Thank you to the donors whose contributions make this website and all programs, services and research possible.

Copyright © 2018 Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. Charitable Registration #BN118816339RR0001
35 Years