Through the Discovery Grant program supporting new and innovative research, Prostate Cancer Canada and Movember partnered to invest $2 million in ten research projects breaking new ground. Dr. Cynthia Ménard, a radiation oncologist at the CHUM and a principal scientist in the Imaging and Engineering axis, is the instigator of one of these projects and has received a $200,000 research grant.
Dr. Ménard is working on a tool for doctors that will make radiation treatment more effective and less toxic, using a newer and more sensitive type of scan, called PSMA PET imaging.
Nowadays, radiation is usually the first option doctors offer patients when the cancer returns after surgery. The problem? They aren’t always able to tell exactly where the cancer is. This means that the radiation can be targeting healthy cells, and the patient will experience side effects, or the cancer could be missed.
To remedy, our researcher will use thousands of images to construct maps that will help doctors predict where a particular patient’s cancer is likely to have returned. She hopes to improve cure rates and reduce the toxicity of radiation.
Every day, 11 Canadians die of prostate cancer.