Using micro-ultrasound to deliver targeted radiotherapy to patients with prostate cancer

Dr. Lucas Mendez, a radiation oncologist at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and Associate Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute, has received a Terry Fox Research Institute New Investigator Award to drive radiation therapy forward. 

Dr. Mendez will receive $450,000 over three years for a study that aims to create an accessible and cost-effective method of delivering targeted high-dose radiation therapy in patients with prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting Canadian men, with 25,900 men diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2023 alone. While there have been significant advances in treatment of the disease, Dr. Mendez believes more can be done.

“We know that increasing the dose of radiation to the main cancerous area in the prostate gives us a better chance of controlling the disease or curing the cancer, but we need to ensure we are targeting it effectively through accurate imaging,” says Dr. Mendez.

In this project, Micro-ultrasound technology in prostate radiotherapy: Seeking macro-advances through visualization of the micro, Dr. Mendez will test the use of micro-ultrasound (microUS), a tool currently designed to perform targeted biopsies of prostate cancers, to first image and then deliver radiation to cancerous lesions in the prostate. MicroUS is a relatively inexpensive and portable technology that produces high-resolution images of the prostate within minutes. 

“This funding from The Terry Fox Research Institute will allow us to translate micro-ultrasound technology to the radiation world,” says Dr. Mendez. “If we succeed in adapting the microUS technology, we will evaluate its use in delivering radiation to cancer lesions in the prostate through two clinical trials.”

Dr. Mendez hopes this work can act as a trailblazer, improving the standard of care for patients with prostate cancer and, potentially, expanding to other pelvic tumours in the future.

Media Contact
Amanda Taccone

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Lawson Health Research Institute
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