MUHC Radiation Oncology Department recognized at the Annual Congress of the Quebec Cancer Program

Radiation Oncology Department recognized at the Annual Congress of the Quebec Cancer Program

We are pleased to announce that the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Cedars Cancer Centre of the MUHC has been recognized with a 2021 Prix de cancérologie.

During the annual conference 'Ensemble, en réseau, pour vaincre le cancer' of the Programme québécois de cancérologie held on November 18 and 25, 2021, the presentation entitled 'Hypofractionner pour mieux soigner' (Hypofractionation for better treatment) was selected for a 2021 Prixde cancérologie. The presentation was made by Christian Boisvert-Huneault, radiation oncology technologist and head of the department of radiation oncology, Dr. Fabio Cury, radiation oncologist, Dr. Sergio Faria, radiation oncologist, Dr. Carolyn Freeman, radiation oncologist, Dr. Tarek Hijal, radiation oncologist and Director of the Division of Radiation Oncology, and William Parker, medical physicist and Head of Medical Physics.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as manpower shortages in the healthcare system, the team is trying to find safe and efficient ways to treat patients within accepted timeframes, while reducing the number of visits required to the radiation oncology department. The project has shown that a carefully managed implementation of hypofractionation, i.e., a radiotherapy treatment schedule in which larger doses are used less frequently and thus require fewer treatments, allows the service to be maintained while reducing the use of human and technical resources. For example, a prostate radiotherapy treatment spread over twenty sessions given every day has been reduced to five sessions.

In the short term, this will allow the health network to cope with the wave of cancer diagnoses, patients, and treatments post-COVID, while controlling costs. Hypofractionation has reduced the frequency of physical presence in our department, and we have not seen any outbreaks of COVID-19 in our patients or staff. The publication by the team, of several scientific articles on the subject in the most prestigious radiation oncology journals, confirms the international influence of this project.