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Oncological imaging

Contact: Martin Yaffe


Cancer continues to be a major killer and cause of loss of economic productivity in our society. The role of medical imaging in cancer management is very well established, however, there are many opportunities for new scientific and technological developments to contribute to reducing the morbidity and mortality from this disease. Likewise there are enormous economic possibilities for Ontario related to intellectual property in this area that, with timely investment, will be developed jointly by the academic and industrial sector. In the near future, research and development efforts in Ontario will lead to major advancements in areas such as molecular imaging of cancer for earlier detection and more accurate treatment planning, new methods for image-guided intervention to enable innovative therapies to be implemented, development of new drugs for therapy based on better understanding of molecular mechanisms of cancer and new sensors for biomedical imaging. Quantitative image analysis techniques will allow prediction of risk of disease, help optimize the choice of treatment regimen and will facilitate development of strategies for cancer prevention.

Groups in focus

Breast Cancer Imaging Research (submitted)
Contact: Martin Yaffe

Upcoming proposals in focus

Contact: Martin Yaffe

  • molecular tracers
  • sensors
  • imaging for radiation therapy
  • image visualization


Near-term technologies:

  • imaging methods for earlier and more accurate detection of cancer
  • techniques for more accurate planning of treatment
  • new methods for less invasive surgical management of disease including thermal therapies
  • image guidance for conformal radiation therapy
  • systems for molecular pathology (e.g., using gene chips)
  • systems for predicting response to therapy (e.g., drugs) and optimizing
  • computer software for risk prediction

Emerging technologies:

  • flat panel imaging systems for real time imaging and guidance of intervention
  • intelligent technologies for improved image visualization
  • molecular imaging tracers keyed to specific types of cancer
  • advanced methods for multi-modality image fusion, multispectral imaging, computer-aided
  • diagnosis (these cut across and can have impact on many disciplines)

Industrial impact:

  • pharmaceutical: MDS Nordion, Nycomed, Berlex, Amersham
  • instrumentation: GE, Dalsa, Siemens, Varian, CPI, ANRAD, Tomotherapeutics, VisualSonics
  • software: Cedara, Mitra, Marconi

Potential academic partners:

  • Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Ontario Cancer Institute, Hospital for Sick Children, Cancer Care Ontario - Toronto
  • University of Western Ontario - London
  • Queen's University - Kingston
  • Carleton University - Ottawa
  • McMaster University - Guelph