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Colloquium: Brachytherapy - history and its role in current era of radiation oncology

Monday, November 27, 2017 - 13:30
KHE 225

Speaker: Dr. Amandeep Taggar, MD MSc FRCPC
Radiation Oncologist, Odette Cancer Centre
Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
University of Toronto
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Brachytherapy is perhaps the most conformal form of radiation delivery. The word “brachy”, derived from Greek means short. Brachytherapy is the placement of radioactive sources directly into a tumor. Placing radiation directly into a tumor has several important advantages. Firstly, an highly ablative dose of radiation is delivered within the tumor. Secondly, the Inverse Square Law, which describes radiation dose at distance from brachytherapy sources, results in tremendous dose differential that can be created within short distances between tumor and normal tissues. Hence the normal tissue surrounding the tumor is spared from toxic effects of radiation. By placing radiation sources directly into the tumor, there is no need to enlarge the high dose margin around the tumor to account for uncertainties regarding tumor or patient motion, unlike external beam radiation. Over the years enthusiasm regarding brachytherapy has seen significant ups and downs. In this presentation, I will discuss various cancer sites treated with brachytherapy and methods used to deliver the treatment as well as highlight some of my experience using this modality of radiation in various situations.

Dr. Taggar obtained his BSc in Chemistry honors and MSc in Advanced Therapeutics and Oncology at the Department of Oncology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, (BC Cancer Agency), followed by his medical degree at UBC. Dr. Taggar’s residency training was in Radiation Oncology at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary which was completed in June of 2016, followed by fellowship in Brachytherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre under the guidance of Dr. Zelefsky. Dr. Taggar is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCPC) and a member of Radiation Oncology, within the American Board of Radiology, USA (DABR). Dr. Taggar is treating gynecological and upper gastrointestinal cancer cases at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre/Odette Cancer Centre, with a primary focus on MRI guided radiotherapy and brachytherapy.