Drs. Shaf Keshavjee and Marcelo Cypel, researchers in the Latner Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratories in the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, have received the 2018 Inventor of the Year Award for their pioneering work in developing the Toronto Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion (EVLP) system.
EVLP enables the safe pre-transplant assessment and treatment of donor lungs, enabling clinicians to select and improve the clinical acceptability of organs for transplantation. The technique involves perfusing a special fluid through cold preserved donor lungs to rewarm the organ while ventilating it with oxygen outside of the body. This results in recovery and successful transplantation of 70 per cent of lungs that would otherwise be classified as marginally acceptable.
As a result of their invention, UHN has doubled the number of lung transplants performed each year. EVLP has been used clinically to assess more than 550 donor lungs in Toronto and many more internationally as this technique has been adopted worldwide. Combined, this invention has saved the lives of many patients with end stage lung diseases.
Ultimately, EVLP expands the pool of available donor organs and enhances the success of transplantation. By addressing the global shortage of donor lungs, EVLP has the potential to reduce—if not completely eliminate—lung transplant wait times.
“We’re proud to be the home for this ground-breaking innovation in lung transplantation,” says Dr. Brad Wouters, Executive Vice President, Science and Research at UHN. “The work of Drs. Keshavjee and Cypel from the Latner Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratories at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, and that of the entire transplant research program at UHN is truly one of a kind. This breakthrough would not have been possible without critical support from our sponsors, our donors, the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation and industry partners. Their continued support has also helped the team to make tremendous strides with EVLP—including expanding this technology for use in other organs such as the kidney, liver and heart—and this award recognizes their excellence in transplantation research.”
The Inventor of the Year Award is presented each year by UHN’s Technology Development and Commercialization Office. The award celebrates a UHN inventor or team that has demonstrated excellence in translating their findings into new technologies, services and products that improve health. The award was presented to Drs. Keshavjee and Cypel at the UHN Report to Our Community in June 2019.
Congratulations to Drs. Keshavjee and Cypel.
Establishing radiotherapy programs to treat cervical cancer in low- and middle-income countries could save 9.4 million lives and create $151 billion in economic benefits by 2035.
Those are the findings of a study recently published in Lancet Oncology by Princess Margaret Cancer Centre’s Dr. Danielle Rodin and Dr. Michael Milosevic.
Almost all cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. There are more than 100 types of HPV, of which more than 40 can cause cervical cancer. Persistent HPV infections can sometimes develop into cervical cancer if not treated.
The study modelled the long-term demand, benefit and cost of implementing a 20-year strategy for radiotherapy to treat cervical cancer in low- and middle-income countries, alongside a simultaneous HPV vaccination program.
The study also modelled the effect of HPV vaccination, which would result in a 3.9% reduction in cervical cancer incidence over the study period—assuming a best case scenario of vaccinating every 12-year-old girl in the world starting in 2014. By 2072, when the first vaccinated cohort reaches 70 years of age, there would be a 22.9% reduction in cervical cancer incidence, still leaving 41.6 million in need for radiotherapy over that time period.
“Vaccination is hugely important, but we can’t neglect the millions of women who are contracting cervical cancer and dying in pain without access to treatment,” says Dr. Danielle Rodin, a Clinician Investigator and Radiation Oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. “These are women who have curable cancers – even advanced cervical cancer can be cured with radiotherapy. The possibility exists to make this treatment universally available.”
Click here to watch a video of Dr. Danielle Rodin discussing her findings.
Rodin D, Burger EA, Atun R, Barton M, Gospodarowicz M, Grover S, Hanna TP, Jaffray DA,
Knaul FM, Lievens Y, Zubizarreta E, Milosevic M. Scale-up of radiotherapy for cervical cancer in the era of human papillomavirus vaccination in low-income and middle-income countries: a model-based analysis of need and economic impact. Lancet Oncol. May 28, 2019. doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30308-0.
Supported by the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology, The Commonwealth Fund and The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.
The UHN Office of Research Trainees (ORT) is proud to announce the release of the latest issue of The ORT Times!
The ORT Times is UHN's monthly trainee-focused newsletter. It highlights news and editorials about trainee life, articles to help developing researchers get the most out of their training experience at UHN, tips on career development, and research training opportunities within and outside of UHN.
● Authorship In Academia: Who Gets It?
● Making the Most of 3 Minutes
● Embrace Writing
● Motherhood During Research Training
● The ORT is Here for You!
● March 2019 ORT Travel Award Winners
Conference Reports: Read conference reports from Eliyas Jeffay and Matheus J Wiest.
Read and download the full issue now!
To see past issues of The ORT Times, please visit ORT’s website.
A new version of tool called a fiberscope that will let surgeons treat even more lung cancer patients using cutting-edge photothermal therapy has been developed by researchers at Techna and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in collaboration with a Japanese company.
The fiberscope channels light from a laser deep into the lungs. There, that light is converted into cancer-cell-killing heat by special chemicals injected into the tumour.
Photothermal therapy is being improved through development of nanoparticles called porphysomes. These next-generation biodegradable nanoparticles accumulate in tumours, where they convert light to heat. The small particles also fluoresce, giving off special light that can guide surgeons to the tumour.
A current challenge is that two separate optical fibres are required: one to visualize and find the tumour, and one to deliver the laser light. Once the first fibre is used to find the tumour, repositioning the second fibre increases the chance of missing the tumour. Another challenge is presented by how the airways in the lung branch and become narrower. Current fiberscopes, limited by their size and lack of flexibility, can only reach about two branches in. That limitation means that photothermal therapy can be challenging for tumours that are located deep in the lung.
The new fiberscope—developed by Dr. Kazuhiro Yasufuku at University Health Network and OK Fibre Technology Co. of Japan—addresses these issues. It combines two types of optical fibres into a single scope, which can locate the tumour and target it with photothermal therapy. It is also smaller and more flexible, allowing the team to treat tumours that are approximately six centimeters deeper in the lung, or about six to nine branches inside the airway.
“This research is a great example of how innovative partnerships based on UHN technology can help patients. The technology has the potential to greatly improve access to this cutting edge and minimally invasive anticancer therapy,” concludes Dr. Yasufuku.
This work was supported by the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, the Terry Fox Research Institute, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Sanitarium Association and The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.
Kinoshita T, Effat A, Gregor A, Inage T, Ishiwata T, Motooka Y, Ujiie H, Wilson BC, Zheng G, Weersink R, Asamura H, Yasufuku K. A novel laser fiberscope for simultaneous imaging and phototherapy of peripheral lung cancer. Chest. 2019 Apr 26. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2019.04.010.