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Fellowships

Gynecologic cancer fellowship

Leung

Eric Leung, assistant professor, department of radiation oncology, U of T

Lisa

Lisa Barbera, associate professor, department of radiation oncology, University of Toronto

The fellow will gain extensive multidisciplinary clinical experience with workup of gynecological cancer patients; decision-making and treatment of patients with radiation, chemoradiation and brachytherapy; management of patients treated with MRI-guided brachytherapy and interstitial brachytherapy; and management and treatment of patients treated with stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) for gynecologic cancers.

The Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre (OCC) has one of the highest-volume gynecologic cancer brachytherapy and interstitial programs in the country. The OCC also has a unique brachytherapy suite with MRI in the room, such that procedures can be done directly on the MRI bed while also functioning as a treatment bunker. The fellow will have the opportunity to gain expertise in MRI-guided brachytherapy and interstitial brachytherapy with perineal template applicators and hybrid applicators. Novel techniques such as real-time guidance with MRI and transrectal ultrasound will also be developed.

From a research perspective, the fellow will have the opportunity to develop research programs on MRI-guided brachytherapy, including MRI planning and functional imaging, interstitial brachytherapy and real-time guidance of interstitial brachytherapy. The fellow will also have an opportunity to design and conduct clinical trials and analyze results of ongoing mature studies, which include areas ranging from translational research to health services research. Novel research projects on SABR for gynecologic cancers can also be developed during the fellowship. A two-year fellowship with a master’s of science through the University of Toronto’s Institute of Medical Science is an option for selected candidates. Previous fellows have been first author on numerous publications and presented at international conferences.

Central nervous system cancer fellowships

Dr. Sahgal

Arjun Sahgal, professor, departments of radiation oncology and surgery, U of T

Fellowship with Dr. Arjun Sahgal

Dr. Sahgal is an international clinical and research leader in the field of high-precision stereotactic radiation to the brain and spine for metastases and primary tumours. He has published as primary author and collaborator more than 250 peer-reviewed papers in high-impact journals like The New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research and Lancet Oncology. He is editor and writer of several books or book chapters on brain and bone metastases treated with stereotactic radiosurgery or stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). He is the recipient of several distinguished visiting professorships and was chairman of past meetings of the International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society, where he is a board member. He is a steering committee member for the AOSpine Tumor Knowledge Forum. He is the principal investigator for a national Phase 3 randomized trial (SC-24) evaluating spine SBRT against conventional radiation therapy. He serves as deputy chief of the department of radiation oncology at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Center, which is affiliated with the University of Toronto.

The fellowship will be focused clinically on central nervous system (CNS) cancer radiotherapy, including Gamma Knife radiosurgery, spine metastases and primary brain tumour radiation. This fellowship provides exposure to MR linear accelerator treatment for CNS tumours.

Research opportunities include MR-Linac applications for CNS tumours; brain and spine radiosurgery series; and modelling of dose with toxicities. There are several research projects and platforms to be engaged in, and most fellows finish two or three manuscripts by year’s end.

Hany Soliman

Dr. Hany Soliman, assistant professor, department of radiation oncology, U of T

Fellowship with Dr. Hany Soliman

This fellowship is a one-year clinical and research fellowship in central nervous system tumours. Fellows will gain wide experience in the multidisciplinary management of primary and metastatic brain and spine tumours. Fellows will have ample opportunity to master stereotactic brain and spine treatments, including use of the Gamma Knife Icon system. Research opportunities will be focused on clinical outcomes and toxicity related to stereotactic treatments. Fellows are expected to complete at least one manuscript during the year.

Genitourinary cancer fellowships

Dr. Loblaw

Andrew Loblaw, professor, department of radiation oncology and Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, U of T

Fellowship with Dr. Andrew Loblaw

The fellow will gain extensive clinical experience with workup of prostate cancer patients pre-diagnosis, including MRI screening and MR-guided transperineal biopsies; management of patients on active surveillance including MR staging and genomic classification; decision-making and treatment of patients with stereotactic ablative radiotherapy, brachytherapy with or without androgen-deprivation therapy; management of salvage patients using postoperative radiotherapy, salvage high-dose rate post-primary radiotherapy and androgen-deprivation therapy; management of oligometastases; and management of metastatic castrate-sensitive prostate cancer using abiraterone, enzalutamide and radium.

From a research perspective, the fellow will have the opportunity to design and conduct clinical trials and analyze results of ongoing mature studies. A two-year fellowship with a master’s of science in clinical epidemiology is an option for selected candidates. Previous fellows have been co-principal investigators on peer-reviewed grants, first author on publications and presenters at international conferences.

Dr. Loblaw

Stanley Liu, assistant professor, departments of radiation oncology and medical biophysics, U of T

Dr. Loblaw

Danny Vesprini, assistant professor, department of radiation oncology, U of T

Fellowship with Drs. Stanley Liu and Danny Vesprini

This jointly supervised fellowship will provide an opportunity to gain expertise in the management of patients with genitourinary (GU) malignancies in a multidisciplinary setting. Exposure to current and cutting-edge radiotherapy planning and treatment techniques including image-guided radiation therapy and stereotactic body radiotherapy will be provided in the busiest GU radiation oncology clinic in Ontario, which sees more than 1,200 new patients per year. Additionally, this fellowship will provide training in clinical, translational or basic science projects in prostate cancer. These projects may include the following: Analyzing the largest and most mature active surveillance database in the world to determine outcomes, surveillance strategies and prevention measures. This project also looks at whether urine-derived microRNA can serve as predictive biomarkers for detection of aggressive prostate cancer in patients. Looking at the Sunnybrook Odette Male Oncology Research and Education program to do clinical or translational studies on men at high risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. These includemen with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, Caribbean or western African ancestry, a strong family history or early-onset prostate cancer. Elucidating the function of non-coding RNA as predictive biomarkers for prostate cancer management in preclinical models.

Leung

Gregory Czarnota, associate professor, departments of radiation oncology and medical biophysics, U of T

Breast cancer fellowship

Dr. Czarnota’s fellowship program is focused on locally advanced breast cancer, and treatment of resistant tumours and recurrent disease. Research areas include quantitative ultrasound and novel imaging methods for tumour response prediction and monitoring. Imaging modalities of interest include quantitative ultrasound, photoacoustics, optical measures of response and novel MRI methods.

Previous trainees have gone on to attain faculty positions at North American academic health sciences centres affiliated with university medical schools. Candidates with interest in obtaining M.Sc. and/or PhD degrees are encouraged.

Breast cancer fellowship and M.Sc. in clinical epidemiology or public health

Rako

Dr. Eileen Rakovitch, associate professor, department of radiation oncology, U of T

Fellows will gain clinical experience in the multidisciplinary management of breast cancer, with specific expertise in the use of radiotherapy to treat the disease. The Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook is one of the largest programs in the country. It has unique, specialized programs in locally advanced cancer and immediate reconstruction, and a dedicated young women’s program.

Fellows will have the opportunity to obtain a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology or public health. They will be able to learn about and participate in conducting clinical trials and clinical epidemiological research, including health services population-based research.

Head and neck cancer fellowship

Dr. Karam

Irene Karam, assistant professor, department of radiation oncology, U of T

Dr. Poon

Ian Poon, assistant professor, department of radiation oncology, U of T

The primary objective of this one-year clinical research fellowship is to provide clinical expertise and research opportunities in technological advances in head and neck oncology, including stereotactic body radiotherapy, positron emission tomography and CT imaging, MRI and high-intensity focused ultrasound hyperthermia. The head and neck clinical program at the Odette Cancer Centre is a vibrant, high-volume tumour site with approximately 400 new patients seen each year. The fellow will have the opportunity to work and interact within a multidisciplinary setting that includes head and neck surgery, speech language pathology, nutrition and social work.

Gastrointestinal and genitourinary cancer fellowship

Dr. Chung

Hans Chung, assistant professor, department of radiation oncology, U of T

Dr. Chung specializes in prostate and gastrointestinal malignancies, with a special interest in prostate low-dose rate (LDR) and high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy and liver stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). The Odette Cancer Centre’s prostate brachytherapy program is one of the largest in the world and performs about 350 HDR cases and 75 LDR cases each year. Our liver SBRT program began in 2010; we have treated more than 200 patients. Dr. Chung conducts and participates in clinical trials, as well as prospective and retrospective studies.

This is a one-year fellowship. In addition to clinics, fellows will learn the indications and delivery of liver SBRT, and low-dose rate and high-dose rate prostate brachytherapy. It is expected that upon completion of the fellowship, fellows will be able to independently perform brachytherapy.

Brachytherapy fellowship

Gerard Morton

Gerard Morton, associate professor, department of radiation oncology, U of T

Sunnybrook has one of the largest brachytherapy programs in North America. It performs over 400 prostate brachytherapy procedures (both high-dose rate and low-dose rate), over 200 interstitial gynecological implants and over 300 intracavitary procedures. The brachytherapy suite is a state-of-the-art facility encompassing a newly added in-suite MRI scanner. Sunnybrook researchers continue to develop new brachytherapy procedures, incorporating advanced techniques for image guidance. As a trainee, you will have a rigorous brachytherapy training experience, tailored to develop advanced competencies to enable you to submit an application to the Royal College for an Area of Focused Competence (AFC) diploma in brachytherapy. You will develop competence in prostate high-dose rate, low-dose rate and gynecological brachytherapy, including planning and practical procedural skills. CanMeds competencies relevant to brachytherapy will be taught, including relevant leadership, communication and scholarly research skills. The curriculum will also include elements of didactic teaching, rounds, quality assurance, peer review and workshops.

Lung and genitourinary cancer fellowship

Patrick Cheung, associate professor, department of radiation oncology, U of T

The fellow will gain clinical and technical experience with the use of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) and hypofractionated radiotherapy to treat primary and metastatic tumours. These indications include primary lung, kidney and prostate cancers. In the metastatic setting, the fellow will appreciate the increasing indications to consider SBRT in the oligometastatic and oligoprogressive settings in various body sites. These include the lungs; adrenal glands; non-spine bone; and mediastinal, pelvic and retroperitoneal lymph nodes. Potential research projects will revolve around evaluating clinical or technical outcomes of using SBRT or hypofractionated radiotherapy in any of the above clinical situations.