Adaptive Radiation Oncology Research

The Department of Radiation Oncology at William Beaumont Hospital has a demonstrated track record of translating research into clinical practice. Much of this success resides in image-guided therapy, where target delineation and motion tracking have led to significant improvements in precision radiation dose delivery. The logical progression from physical improvements in treatment planning and dose delivery is to incorporate biological information into the equation.

Treatment biomodulation can be accomplished using different imaging modalities such as FDG- and FLT-PET imaging, in conjunction with dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI. Using the resulting information, we can derive levels of tumor proliferation, glucose uptake, blood flow, and other significant tumor parameters. The optimal application of these technologies will allow us to determine the ideal frontline treatment, at the same time that we remain flexible enough to adapt the treatment strategy based upon each tumor's response to therapy as treatment progresses. Ultimately, this should allow maximal local tumor control with increased rates of disease free survival.

Currently, we have two ongoing research projects utilizing this strategy:

  • Phase II clinical study: Biology-based sequential preoperative radiotherapy/chemotherapy using capecitabine, cetuximab, and bevacizumab for resectable rectal cancer
  • Preclinical study: Adaptive chemoradiation guided by dynamic tumor imaging and concurrent molecular characterization for preoperative patient-specific treatment utilizing capecitabine, cetuximab, and sorafenib in pancreatic and colon cancers