• Avishek Chatterjee

    Project Title: Knowledge-based Radiation Treatment Planning for Glioblastoma Multiforme

  • Charles-Antoine Collins Fekete

    Project Title: To be added

  • Daniel Raphael Cooper

    Project Title: Nanoparticle-aided radiation therapy with scintillating high-Z materials

  • Erick Velazquez-Godinez

    Project Title: NLP in Radiation Oncology .

  • Georges Al Makdessi

    Project Title: To be added .

  • James Renaud

    Project Title: Development of a probe-format calorimeter for absolute clinical dosimetry of high-energy photon, electron, and proton beams

    Daniel Raphael Cooper Abstract

    The project involves creation of biocompatible rare earth-based nanoparticles and testing them for activity against cancer in vitro and in vivo, with or without radiation therapy.
    We will develop a new kind of particle for radiosensitization of tumours by direct intratumoral or possibly intravenous injection and test them in vitro and in vivo. The particles, cerium-doped lanthanum fluoride (LaF3:Ce), are made of low-toxicity constituents and have many desirable photophysical properties compared to currently existing radiosensitizers in the field. They can radiosensitize tumours on their own via the photoelectric effect, or they may be conjugated to a photosensitizer for X-ray based singlet oxygen generation.
    Additionally, software modelling and simulation of nanoparticle localization and radiation response will help corroborate the mechanisms by which the nanoparticles induce different varieties of “insults” and affect cell survival, as well as quantify dose enhancement at the nanoparticle level.

    Daniel Raphael Cooper Publications

    1. D.R. Cooper, D. Bekah, J.L. Nadeau, (2014) Gold Nanoparticles and Their Alternatives for Radiation Therapy Enhancement, Frontiers in Chemistry 2, Article 86, 13 pages October 2014, doi: 10.3389/fchem.2014.00086.
    2. Kudinov, K, Cooper D., Tyagi P., Bekah D., Bhattacharyya D., Hill C., Kin Ha J., Nadeau J.L., Bradforth S.G. (2015), Evidence of energy transfer in nanoparticle-porphyrins conjugates for radiation therapy enhancement. Proc. SPIE 9338 Colloidal Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications X 93380H (March 12, 2015); doi:10.1117/12.2077985.
    3. Devesh Bekah, Daniel Cooper, Konstantin Kudinov, Colin Hill, Jan Seuntjens, Stephen Bradforth and Jay Nadeau (2016) Synthesis and Characterization of Biologically Stable, Doped LaF3 Nanoparticles Co-Conjugated to PEG and Photosensitizers, Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry Volume 329, 1 October 2016, Pages 26–34

    Yunzhi Ma Publications

    1. F. Ballester, Å. Carlsson Tedgren, D. Granero, A. Haworth, F. Mourtada, G. Paiva Fonseca, K. Zourari, P. Papagiannis, M.J. Rivard, F-A. Siebert, R.S. Sloboda, R.L. Smith, R.M. Thomson, F. Verhaegen, J. Vijande, Y. Ma and L. Beaulieu (2015) A Systematic Characterization of the Low Energy Response of Plastic Scintillation Detectors, Med. Phys. 42(6):3048.

    Avishek Chatterjee Abstract

    Purpose: To create a knowledge-based radiation treatment planning model for brain tumor patients, specifically Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), using RapidPlan, a commercially available product. Methods and Materials: The model predicts achievable dose sparing for organs at risk (OARs) using a library of 82 inverse treatment plans, and provides optimization objectives to be used for treatment planning. The model is then validated on an independent set consisting of 45 patients. Results: The plans created by the model are clinically acceptable, having slightly improved planning target volume (PTV) coverage (ΔD98% = 0.5 Gy) and slightly lower mean doses to the optic apparatus (1.5 Gy) and eye (0.6 Gy). The planning time can be as low as 7 minutes, compared to about two hours for planning without RapidPlan. Conclusions: Knowledge-based planning model for GBM delivers quick, high-quality plans for a diverse set of patients.

    James Renaud Abstract

    Our work involves the development of an innovative probe-format calorimeter (Arrow) for clinical dosimetry. Calorimetry-based detectors are unique in that no radiation is required for calibration and thus offer the most absolute method to measure dose. Calorimeters have been used by standards laboratories for decades, however these calorimeters are too bulky and technically cumbersome for routine clinical use. The enhancement of our unique GPC design will be more compact and simple to operate than prior art. With a number of prototypes and experimental studies suggesting the feasibility of the technology, and the backing of an industry partner, the objective is to further refine and validate this cutting edge device for end-user testing and eventual commercialization .

    James Renaud Publications

    1) Renaud J, Sarfehnia A, Marchant K, McEwen M R, Ross C, Seuntjens J P (2015) Direct measurement of electron beam quality conversion factors using water calorimetry, Med. Phys. 42(11):6357-6368.
    2) James Renaud, A. Sarfehnia, J. Seuntjens (2016) Experimental benchmarking of a probe-format calorimeter for use as an absolute clinical dosimeter, ESTRO 35 Conference 2016, April 29 to May 3, 2016, Turin, Italy. One of the five abstracts that was selected out of the numerous submitted under physics track – publication of the conference report (conference paper).
    3) Renaud J, Rossomme S, Sarfehnia A, Vynckier S, Palmans H, Kacperek A, Seuntjens J (2016) Development and application of a water calorimeter for the absolute dosimetry of short-range particle beams, Phys Med Biol. 2016 Sep 21;61(18):6602-6619.

    Georges Al Makdessi Abstract

    To be added .

    Georges Al Makdessi Publications

    To Be Added

    Erick Velazquez-Godinez Abstract

    As is the case for all human activity, errors occur in medicine. However, in a high-reliability healthcare system, the same error should never occur twice–healthcare personnel should learn from errors and put in place mechanisms to avoid their repetition. To facilitate such learning, it is necessary to gather data regarding incidents and accidents that occur.

    At the MUHC, the Division of Radiation Oncology uses an incident reporting software called SaILS (Safety and Incident Learning System) to collect and analyze incidents and near misses. Staff enter incident narratives into SaILS when incidents occur within the department. Once entered, an incident is assigned to an “investigator” who examines what occurred and classifies how and why it occurred according to the taxonomy of the Canadian National System for Incident Reporting–Radiation Treatment.

    This project will attempt to use Natural Language Processing to increase the effectiveness of incident reporting to improve patient safety in Radiation Oncology.

    For the first period, we will use the clinical Text Analysis and Knowledge Extraction System (cTAKES) to annotate the incident report. We will implement a web interface to show the annotation results in a more friendly way. We will also build a local dictionary to detect medical terms related to the radiation oncology domain. The annotation is a previous step for other NLP tasks. Moreover, the annotation gives us inside the content of the incident report, for example, the number of medical terms by incident report and other statistics .

    Erick Velazquez-Godinez Publications

    To Be Added

    Charles-Antoine Collins Fekete Abstract

    To be added .

    Charles-Antoine Collins Fekete Publications

    1. Collins-Fekete C-A, Plamondon M, Martin A-G, Vigneault É, Verhaegen F, Beaulieu L. (2014) Quantifying the effect of seed orientation in postplanning dosimetry of low-dose-rate prostate brachytherapy, Med. Phys. 41, 101704.
    2. Collins-Fekete C-A, Plamondon M, Martin A-G, Vigneault É, Verhaegen F, Beaulieu L. (2015) Calcifications in low-dose rate prostate seed brachytherapy treatment: post-planning dosimetry and predictive factors, Radiotherapy Oncology. 114(3):339-44.
    3. Collins-Fekete C-A, Dias M.F., Doolan P., Beaulieu L., Seco J. (2015) Developing a phenomenological model of the proton trajectory within a heterogeneous medium required for proton imaging, Physics in Medicine and Biology 60(13): 5071-5082.