Faculty Members

Dr. Brad Warkentin

Associate Professor

Department of Oncology

Division of Medical Physics
    Contact details are for academic matters only.

About Me

Dr. Brad Warkentin is currently appointed as Associate Professor in the Division of Medical Physics in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.

Research

Synchrotron-based Radiotherapy Applications: Microbeam Radiotherapy
The Canadian Light Source (CLS) in Saskatoon is one of a handful of x-ray synchrotrons worldwide with dedicated biomedical beamlines. The beamlines offer novel imaging and radiotherapy modalities that exploit the unique beam characteristics, which include extreme flux rates, minimal beam divergence, monochromaticity, and coherence. One of my primary research interests is exploring the potential of microbeam radiotherapy (MRT), a preclinical form of RT using large doses (100’s of Gy) of extremely small slits of radiation (~ 50 μm). Preliminary cellular and animal studies have shown a remarkable tolerance of normal tissues to such deliveries, motivating further research into its use as a potential alternative therapy for specific human cancers (e.g. pediatric brain cancers). Due to the large doses rates, low beam energies and tiny beams, accurate knowledge of MRT dose distributions is a significant challenge. Our current research has focused on improving and developing the techniques for MRT dosimetry.

MR-Linac: Monte Carlo Dosimetry
Another recent research interest of mine is further developing the Monte Carlo modeling infrastructure for calculating radiotherapy dose distributions in the presence of the magnetic fields used with the MR-linac system at the Cross Cancer Institute. Future work may include incorporating the dosimetric effects of the magnetic fields in the IMRT optimization process.

Radiobiological Modeling
Radiobiological modeling aims to characterize and (hopefully) predict tumor response and normal tissue complication rates to radiotherapy in a quantitative manner so that better patient-specific treatment optimization can be achieved. However, current models are generally simplistic and have limited predictive power. I’m interested in exploring the limitations of current models, and developing improved models. A particularly interesting avenue investigation is the modeling of MRT response, and how it may be applied to more conventional modalities.

Research Keywords

Microbeam, radiation therapy, dosimetry, modeling