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Radiation Medicine Program



The Princess Margaret Radiation Medicine program has demonstrated strength and expertise in diverse research areas, including molecular radiation biology, radiation physics and imaging, education, outcome studies and clinical trials, and health services and epidemiology.

The basic goal of our laboratory research is to understand the cellular and molecular determinants of radiosensitivity in tumours and normal tissues with a long-term objective of bringing these innovations into the clinical setting. Through our affiliation with the University of Toronto’s Department of Radiation Oncology, where many of our staff are faculty members, we collaborate with other local, national and international cancer centres, such as the Odette Cancer Centre and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.

As part of the largest cancer centre in Canada our internationally recognized team of researchers have access to large patient numbers presenting rare and complex cases and a range of clinical technologies at the cutting edge of radiation medicine, such as volumetric modulated arc therapy, MR-guided radiation therapy and MR interventional simulation.

Our researchers also have access to one of the leading cancer research facilities in the world through Princess Margaret’s research arm, the Ontario Cancer Institute, which is equipped with state-of-the-art tools in biobanking, genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics and other innovations that are moving findings “from the bench to the bedside and back to the bench.”

Between 2006 and 2010 close to $30 million in large, multi-year funding was awarded to collaborative grant applications through the Department of Radiation Oncology, including a $20 million award over 5 years from the Canadian Prostate Cancer Genome Network, Prostate Cancer Canada and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research for Dr. Rob Bristow to lead an international team to map the genetic structure of prostate cancer.

Current research initiatives include:

  • A study comparing two novel oxygen imaging techniques (FAZA PET and qBOLD MRI) in their ability to map lung tumours and their oxygen levels in each patient prior to radiotherapy
  • A randomized trial evaluating the optimal timing of post-operative radiotherapy to the prostate bed for men with positive surgical margins and/or pT3 status
  • A trial that will determine the safety of combining sunitinib with radiosurgery and for which the ultimate goal is to improve patient outcomes by determining the safety of combining drug therapy with radiation therapy

Find out more about research and clinical trials at Princess Margaret.​​​​

Last reviewed: 11/19/2015
Last modified: 5/24/2017 6:51 AM