Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre

Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre

July 13, 2005 10:18 ET


Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Lifestyle Editor, Science Editor TORONTO/ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - July 13, 2005) - In the first trial of its kind in the world, radiation oncologists at Toronto Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre, the comprehensive cancer program at Sunnybrook & Women's, are treating prostate cancer patients using a 3D image-guided radiation therapy device developed in Canada that oncologists believe will significantly improve the delivery of radiation treatment to cancer patients worldwide.

Using the technology platform, radiation oncologists are able to accurately position the patient, analyze and adapt to common changes in prostate position, shape and volume, as organs change shape and shift their internal position from one treatment day to the next. This revolutionary technique allows the oncologist to visualize the exact position of the target and deliver precise external beam radiation therapy. It provides a non-surgical alternative to the current standard method of surgically implanting gold seeds into the prostate, a method that is uncomfortable, prone to infection, and can result in various side effects.

"Damage to the healthy tissue around the prostate can cause a number of side effects that make a significant impact on the quality of life including sexual dysfunction and bowel frequency and discomfort," says Dr. Gerard Morton, radiation oncologist at Sunnybrook & Women's. "By accurately positioning the patient, we can provide precise external beam radiation, minimizing the treatment area and sparing healthy tissue."

The system is installed in both the treatment planning/CT-Sim room and the treatment delivery/LINAC room. During planning, the system provides the medical team with clear images of the target organ, using technologies that enable the fusion of 3D ultrasound images to other imaging modalities like CT. Prior to each radiation treatment session, the system acquires new 3D ultrasound images, compares them to the original reference ultrasound images, calculates organ displacement and provides re-alignment instructions for precise targeting of the tumour.

"This technology, if proven more efficient than standard therapy, may allow radiation oncologists to provide shorter sharper treatments, reducing the overall treatment time," says Dr. Morton, who is also an assistant professor at the University of Toronto.

Researchers believe that pending further evaluation, this approach may provide an alternative to the current standard of radiation planning for patients with gynaecological, cervical, abdominal, head and neck, breast and prostate cancer.

"It is our goal to make cancer treatment more tolerable for all of our patients," says Garth Matheson, co-acting vice president of regional cancer services at Sunnybrook & Women's. "This device is another example of our extraordinary commitment to enhance cancer treatments to improve our patient's quality of life."

Researchers at Sunnybrook & Women's have been working closely with Resonant Medical, the Canadian firm pioneering the 3D ultrasound image-guided radiation therapy products, to refine the technology and meet the needs of oncologists.

This equipment was funded by a generous gift from the Michael Albert Garron Foundation through Sunnybrook & Women's Foundation.

About Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre:
Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre is transforming health care through the dedication of its more than 10,000 staff members who provide compassionate and innovative patient focused care. An internationally recognized leader in women's health, academic research and education and an affiliation with the University of Toronto distinguishes Sunnybrook & Women's as one of Canada's premier health sciences centres. Sunnybrook & Women's specializes in caring for newborns, adults and the elderly, treating and preventing cancer, heart problems, neurological and psychiatric conditions, orthopaedic and arthritic conditions and traumatic injuries. Toronto Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre is the comprehensive cancer program at Sunnybrook & Women's, a Cancer Care Ontario partner and fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.
/For further information: WWW.SW.CA/ IN: HEALTH, TECHNOLOGY

Contact Information

  • Jennifer White
    Primary Phone: 416-480-4040