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RMP’s clinical practice encompasses all aspects of cancer care – from diagnosis to survivorship. In addition to site groups, a number of specialized programs exist to further support individualized care in a subset of patients. Together, our inter-professional team works collaboratively to assess, plan and deliver personalized care to our patients.

women getting an CT scan

Quick Start Program

Whole breast radiation therapy is a standard treatment option for women with breast cancer following breast conserving surgery. On an annual basis, this treatment accounts for more than 60 per cent of all breast cancer patients treated at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. With increasing rates of breast cancer and greater use of advanced, yet time-consuming planning methods, the hospital needed an innovative, efficient approach to treat patients and prevent delays.

Implemented in January 2010, the QuickStart program brings together technological advances in software with clinical expertise to expedite scans, treatment planning and delivery of the first treatment, all within one day. It is now a treatment option offered to women with early-stage breast cancer.

For patients who have experienced delays in their cancer journey prior to radiation therapy, having an expedited radiation therapy treatment process avoids potential negative impacts to their treatment outcomes. The QuickStart program offers breast patients the same quality and effective RT treatment without the unnecessary waits.

Patients may be referred to one of the radiation oncologists in the Breast Site Group either through the departmental referral process or by contacting one of the physicians directly. See how to refer a patient to the Breast Site Group

Radiation Site Group Lead:
Jennifer Croke
Radiation Physics Lead:
Tom Purdie
Radiation Therapy Lead:
Michelle Chan
Referral Coordinator:
Anila Samji
Tel:   416 946 4501 ext. 3639
Fax:   416 946 4657
women getting a magnetic resonance scan

Magnetic Resonance guided Radiation Therapy (MRgRT)

The Magnetic Resonance guided Radiation Therapy (MRgRT) suite at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is the first-of-its-kind in Canada.

Patients may be referred through the departmental referral process or by contacting: info@rmp.uhn.ca

Visit the MRgRT webpage

Allan and Ruth Kerbel Palliative Radiotherapy and Oligometastases Program (PROP)

The Allan and Ruth Kerbel Palliative Radiotherapy and Oligometastases Program (PROP) now offers both rapid turnaround palliative radiotherapy for patients with a wide array of cancer-related symptoms as well as comprehensive evaluation for indications of ablative radiotherapy intended to eradicate individual metastatic lesions.

For patients needing rapid palliative radiation treatment (tumour-related bleeding, obstruction, pain, cord compression), the program aims to see and initiate treatment for patients within 24-48 hours of referral, more quickly if necessary.

The treatment paradigm for patients with limited sites of metastatic cancer (termed oligometastasis) is shifting in the current era of improved, novel systemic therapy and advancement in radiotherapy technology. As such, PROP will also evaluate patients with oligometastatic and other metastatic cancer amenable to very focused, high-dose radiotherapy intended to eradicate individual metastatic lesions. The technique is termed stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), also known as stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR). It is a highly conformal radiation treatment capable of delivering a higher dose of radiation to the tumor target while sparing the surrounding organs.

Patients can be referred by contacting the referral coordinator or lead physician, Dr. C. Jillian Tsai (Jillian.Tsai@uhn.ca). After-hours referrals can be readily obtained by contacting the radiation oncologist on call through the Princess Margaret switchboard at 416 946 2000.

Radiation Site Group Lead:
C. Jillian Tsai, Jillian.Tsai@uhn.ca
Radiation Physics Lead:
Edward Taylor, Edward.Taylor@uhn.ca
Radiation Therapy Lead:
Adela Yeung, Adela.Yeung@uhn.ca
Nurse Practitioner:
Katherine Del Poso, Katherine.DelPoso@uhn.ca
Clinical Specialist Radiation Therapist:
Joanna Javor, Joanna.Javor@uhn.ca
Referral Coordinator:
Namrata Sharma, Namrata.Sharma@uhn.ca
Tel:   416 946 2470
Fax:   416 946 4657

Pediatric Radiation Therapy Program

The Princess Margaret offers specialized, pediatric radiation for children with cancer. Our group treats children with Wilm’s tumour, brain tumours, neuroblastomas, leukemia, Hodgkin's Disease and sarcomas.

We use radiation treatment for local control of the primary tumour, prophylactic radiation of the brain in patients with high-risk leukemia, radiation of the lungs in cases of lung metastases and total body irradiation in patients undergoing bone marrow transplants.

In some cases, radiation can provide improved outcomes for pediatric patients who might otherwise require radical surgery.

As a partner with the Hospital for Sick Children, the Princess Margaret participates in numerous Children’s Oncology Group clinical and biologic trials. For more information about our partnership with the Hospital for Sick Children, see Children's Oncology Group

Patients may be referred to one of the radiation oncologists in the Site Group either through the departmental referral process or by contacting one of the physicians directly. Learn how to refer a patient to a radiation oncologist through the departmental referral process

Patients may be referred by contacting the appropriate Site Group. See the list of radiation oncologists for each site group

Radiation Site Group Lead:
Derek Tsang
Radiation Physics Lead:
Tim Craig
Radiation Therapy Lead:
Grace Tsui
Referral Coordinator:
Sheryll Vergara
Tel:   416 946 2130
Fax:   416 946 4657

Brachytherapy Program

The Princess Margaret Brachytherapy Program delivers brachytherapy using a number of methods for both inpatients and outpatients. We can provide high-dose, slow continuous or intermittent/pulsed radiation. Slow continuous and intermittent/pulsed radiation require hospital admission, while high-dose rate techniques are done on an outpatient basis.

Brachytherapy is most effective in cancers of the prostate, cervix and uterus, as well as in esophageal, lung and penile cancer. This very effective high-dose conformal radiation approach spares healthy tissue.

The two primary methods for delivering brachytherapy are interstitial and intracavitary. Interstitial brachytherapy involves the implantation of radioactive sources directly into a tumour, usually in the form of needles, seeds or wires.

Intracavitary brachytherapy involves placing a small radiation source directly into a natural body cavity. This method is effective for delivering very localized radiation to small tumours that have not spread, or for delivering an additional dose of radiation to a small volume at high risk for recurrence.

Patients may be referred by contacting the appropriate Site Group involved with this program:

Stereotactic Radiation Therapy Program

Stereotactic radiation therapy is commonly used to manage cancers within the head and increasingly in other locations in the body, such as the spine, lungs and liver. It can offer an alternative to surgery where there may be a significant likelihood of morbidity with surgery. Stereotactic radiation is also useful in increasing tumour control rates for selected patients with metastases.

In addition to the ability to precisely deliver high-dose radiation to the tumour, this type of radiation significantly spares normal tissues, significantly reducing the likelihood of acute or long-term effects.

Patients may be referred by contacting the appropriate Site Group involved with this program:

Gamma Knife Radiosurgery

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a sophisticated radiation tool known worldwide for its precise treatment to targeted areas of the brain. Patients with benign tumours and functional conditions of the brain are treated with focused single day high dose radiotherapy treatment. The most common conditions treated include acoustic neuromas, meningiomas, trigeminal neuralgia, arteriovenous malformations, and pituitary adenomas.

In a single treatment session, 201 beams of gamma radiation can focus with a precision of less than 1 mm. The exposure is brief and only the tissue being treated receives the radiation dose, while the surrounding tissue remains unharmed.

Since Gamma Knife radiosurgery is performed without incisions or general anesthesia, many of the usual risks associated with conventional neurosurgery, such as neurological deficit, infection and bleeding, are reduced.

Patients are discharged from the Gamma Knife Centre on the day of treatment and are usually able to return to their normal activities within 72 hours.

See also: Gamma Knife Centre at UHN

Gerry and Nancy Pencer Brain Tumour Centre

This multidisciplinary program (radiation oncology, neuro-oncology) manages primary tumours of the brain and spinal cord. We use state-of-the-art linear accelerator technology, including Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)/Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), with daily image guided radiotherapy to achieve high treatment precision. We lead international studies that define global standards of care for patients with glioblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumour in adults. Patients can also participate in experimental studies for initial tumour management and recurrence.

See also: Gerry and Nancy Pencer Brain Tumour Centre

Robert & Andrée Rhéaume Fitzhenry Brain Metastases Program

This multidisciplinary program (radiation oncology, neurosurgery) manages brain metastases. We treat patients with radiosurgery on the ICON Gamma Knife unit with frame-based and mask-based approaches for single or multiple day sessions. Our neurosurgery colleagues also provide patient assessments for possible surgical resection. The ICON Gamma Knife unit uses a relocatable frame instead of a rigid frame, developed by a highly specialized team at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

See also: Robert & Andrée Rhéaume Fitzhenry Brain Metastases Program​​


Last reviewed: 6/7/2023
Last modified: 6/11/2024 5:55 AM
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