Sherbrooke doctor taking new steps in the field of brain cancer
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