My research interests are concentrated in two main areas; minimizing the side effects from radiotherapy for pelvic cancers and understanding why and how cancer patients use cannabis.
Radiotherapy is a very effective treatment for cancer, but it is difficult to deliver enough radiation to the tumor while avoiding the surrounding normal organs, which results in side effects. Sophisticated methods to shape the radiation for each individual patient can be used to solve this challenge and reduce the side effects of treatment. My research evaluates the effectiveness of current methods, and investigates the potential of future methods.
More than 1 in 5 Canadian cancer patients is currently taking cannabis to help with the symptoms of their disease or cope with the side effects of their treatment. Almost nothing is known about the interactions between cannabis and radiotherapy. My current research describes the patient perspective on the use of cannabis during cancer treatment and evaluates the impact of taking cannabis on patients’ quality of life after radiotherapy.