Student Researcher: Matthew Mouawad, PhD Student, Western University
Project Title: Investigating the utility of PET/MRI to detect treatment response to stereotactic body radiation therapy for early stage breast cancer
The London Regional Cancer Program has proposed treating early stage breast cancer with one treatment of radiation therapy one week prior to surgery as opposed to conventional whole breast radiotherapy which is spread over 3-7 weeks post-surgery. This new treatment approach may significantly improve the quality of life for many patients. To evaluate the effectiveness of this new technique, we are imaging patients that consent to participate in this study with the only scanner in Canada (housed at St. Joseph’s hospital in London) that combines both PET and MRI. The goal of the project is to demonstrate that this advanced imaging platform is capable of measuring response to this new treatment approach and will be verified by pathological studies of the excised tumour. Proving that our imaging technique is capable of detecting radiation response will allow us to investigate treating early stage patients with even higher doses of radiation that may kill the tumour and replace surgery altogether.