Bringing Dal‑Developed Cancer Treatment Technology to the World

July 31, 2017

Written by: Matt Reeder, Communications Advisor, Dalhousie University 

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Sporting the Dalhousie Medical Physics colours (left to right): Andy Fillmore, Stefan Vilsmeier, James Robar and Drew Bethune. (Bruce Bottomley photos)

A new $2.1-million investment from the federal government will help Dal researchers build on advances in precision cancer-treatment technology and bring them more quickly to patients in need around the world.

Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax, visited the campus in June to announce the funding through the government’s Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Atlantic Innovation Fund.

The investment marks the beginning of a new partnership between the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA), where the Dal researchers are based, and Germany’s Brainlab AG — a medical technology giant that will commercialize the radiation treatment technologies in countries around the globe.

Faculty of Medicine researcher James Robar, chief of Medical Physics at the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) and director of Dal’s Medical Physics program, and his team will use the funds to expand their work on developing and improving technologies that allow doctors to deploy radiation treatment in more precise, less-invasive ways that improve patient outcomes.

“Although there is currently no definitive cure for cancer, it is through the work of researchers like Drs. Robar, [Christopher] Thomas, [Mike] Sattivariand and [Alasdair] Syme that we can improve the quality of treatment for people coping with cancer,” said Fillmore at the event, held in the atrium of Dal’s Life Sciences Research Institute.

A Major Investment

Drew Bethune, director of the NSHA’s Cancer Care Program and MC of the announcement, emphasized the importance of the government’s investment to the NSHA’s innovation efforts and the impact it will have on patient treatment.

“Research and innovation are not only important drivers of our economy, but give hope to those afflicted with serious disease,” he said.

Eight new employees, including a project manager, two medical physicists, an engineer and several PhD students, will be hired as part of the project, which will centre on developing and improving five key technologies over the next four years.

Read the full story here...

The partnership with Brainlab AG is also featured in the 2016-17 Dalhousie University Community Report. Click here to read more...