Sher­brooke doc­tor tak­ing new steps in the field of brain can­cer

Sherbrooke Record - - FRONT PAGE - By Gor­don Lam­bie

Doc­tor David Fortin, a re­searcher on the Fleu­ri­mont Health cam­pus of the CIUSSS de l’es­trie – CHUS, an­nounced a new method and re­search study on Tues­day aimed at im­prov­ing the treat­ment of glioblas­toma, a rare and very ag­gres­sive form of brain can­cer. The new ap­proach be­ing cham­pi­oned by Fortin and his team is a com­bi­na­tion of ra­di­a­tion ther­apy and chemo­ther­apy, but catered to the in­di­vid­ual based on spe­cific and fo­cused test­ing of tu­mor tis­sue in the mo­ment it has been re­moved from the body.

“We’re on the wrong track right now try­ing to treat ev­ery­one in the same way,” Fortin said, ex­plain­ing that what is in­no­va­tive about the pro­posed method is that it takes into ac­count the idea that the can­cer man­i­fests and in­fil­trates each brain dif­fer­ently. The neu­ro­sur­geon and on­col­o­gist ex­plained that the aver­age prog­no­sis for some­one with a glioblas­toma di­ag­no­sis is 14 months but said that tests to date in­di­cate that pe­riod could in­crease to nearly 23 months us­ing his tech­nique.

Fotin’s tech­nique, which is unique through­out the world, re­lies on sur­gi­cal re­moval of the tu­mor, test­ing of tu­mor tis­sue to de­ter­mine in­di­vid­ual needs and chal­lenges, a com­bi­na­tion of in­tra-ar­te­rial chemo­ther­apy and ra­dio­ther­apy, and a reg­u­lar fol­low-up us­ing a spe­cial­ized MRI ma­chine.

“Our re­search team has suc­ceeded in find­ing the per­fect syn­ergy be­tween

these two tech­niques to ef­fec­tively treat can­cer and pro­long the lives of pa­tients with­out di­min­ish­ing their qual­ity of life,” the re­searcher said, adding that the new treat­ment has al­ready been ap­proved and re­ceived fi­nan­cial back­ing.

Dr Fortin and his team have started the search for pa­tients to be a part of a clin­i­cal trial in which they will seek to prove the ef­fec­tive­ness of their new ap­proach. They are cur­rently seek­ing 40 adults who have not al­ready un­der­gone an op­er­a­tion in con­nec­tion with their glioblas­toma in Que­bec, On­tario, or New Bruns­wick. Any­one in­ter­ested in check­ing their el­i­gi­bil­ity for the study is in­vited to con­tact Marie-an­drée Roy at 819-349-1110, ex­ten­sion 75034.

“Noth­ing we are do­ing is mirac­u­lous,” Fortin added, em­pha­siz­ing the fact that he hears too of­ten about sup­pos­edly mag­i­cal cures to dif­fer­ent forms of can­cer when he knows, as a re­searcher, that there is no such thing. While not claim­ing to mag­i­cally cure the dis­ease, the doc­tor did say he be­lieves that this new way of ap­proach­ing glioblas­toma might make a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence to fu­ture suc­cess on that front.

Ac­cord­ing to the CIUSSS de l’es­triechus, Ap­prox­i­mately 2,500 Cana­di­ans are di­ag­nosed with brain can­cer ev­ery year. Fortin spec­i­fied that there are roughly 240 cases of glioblas­toma di­ag­nosed in Que­bec an­nu­ally.


Dr. David Fortin, Neu­ro­sur­geon and On­col­o­gist at the CIUSSS de l'es­trie CHUS

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