Researchers are on the path to personalizing radiotherapy

Researchers at Laval University are tracking molecular signatures that could one day make it possible to personalize the radiation dose administered to a cancer patient.

Radiotherapy currently adopts a one size fits alla single solution that is not necessarily the most effective, explained professor Venkata Manem, affiliated with the Laval University Faculty of Medicine and the CHU de Québec Research Center.

In chemotherapy, in comparison, there are hundreds of compounds and we choose the right one for the right patient”, he recalled. But in radiotherapy we look at the patient’s characteristics, their age, their sex, whether they smoke and so on (…), but we are not interested in the biological characteristics of the tumor.

If we discover, for example, that the tumor is more resistant, we could administer a higher dose of radiation to increase the chances of cure and reduce the risk of relapse, he added. On the other hand, if it were discovered that the tumor is more vulnerable, a lower dose of radiation could be used, which would minimize unwanted side effects for the patient.

We try to reduce toxicity (of the treatment) for the patient and increase the chances of survival.summarized the researcher.

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