A biomedical researcher at Toronto's Ryerson University hopes to use ultrasound to measure early response to cancer treatment.
Michael Kolios, a professor in the Ryerson Department of Physics, said: "Currently, patients have to complete an entire course of radiation and/or chemotherapy treatments - possibly enduring the negative side effects - before they know if the treatment has been effective.
"With the use of high-frequency ultrasound doctors could determine a tumour's response to therapy very early on in treatment. As a result, better-informed decisions can be made about the efficacy of treatment and whether to continue with the prescribed plan or develop a different one."
Kolios, who recently received renewed funding for his Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Applications of Ultrasound, is focused on two areas of research: how ultrasound patterns can quickly determine if a treatment is effective; and researching how ultrasound can be applied as a therapy itself.
This research, in collaboration with Gregory Czarnota, a Physics Professor at Ryerson and a researcher at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and Ryerson Physics Professor Carl Kumaradas, has several potential benefits: improving the quality of life for people suffering from a variety of diseases; supporting other research by offering fast feedback on the effectiveness of trial therapies; and possibly reducing the need for invasive procedures and surgeries.
Kolios said: "One of our goals is to explore how ultrasound technologies can be used in the fight against cancer.
"I'm hopeful that we can expand the practice and application of ultrasound to develop new, more accurate and lower-cost disease diagnosis and treatment monitoring techniques."