Hello reader! My name is Matthew Mouawad and I’m a PhD candidate in the Department of Medical Biophysics at Western University. I’m working under the supervision of Dr. Stewart Gaede at London Regional Cancer Program and Dr. Neil Gelman at Lawson Imaging.
Early stage breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of the disease. For patients that opt for breast-conserving therapy over mastectomy, treatment time is typically five to seven weeks! This can be prohibitively long for many patients. We need to develop methods to treat patients more efficiently.
A clinical trial headed by Drs. Muriel Brackstone, Michael Lock, and Brian Yaremko is investigating a new treatment technique, which could potentially reduce treatment time for breast-conserving therapy from five treatments a week over five weeks to a single treatment. My role is to use imaging to assess how the tumour is responding to radiotherapy. Specifically, I’ll be using the new hybrid PET-MRI at St. Joseph’s Hospital that simultaneously acquires PET and MRI images.
Overall, we want to be able to treat early stage breast cancer efficiently and effectively, minimizing the burden on patients. We also want to investigate potentially eliminating surgery altogether! This would be a huge step forward for patients in terms of the emotional burden, and would also have the added benefit of reducing health care costs.
Thank you to BCSC for your trainee support!
– Matthew Mouawad
Pamela Greenaway-Kohlmeier Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit, London Health Sciences Centre