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Radiation Oncology

Welcome to Queen's Radiation Oncology

The Radiation Oncology program is a comprehensive five-year residency training program dedicated to the training of exceptional Radiation Oncologists. We are a fully accredited program by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.  We are focused on providing a high standard of patient care, knowledge and skills, necessary for our graduates to function independently as competent generalists in Radiation Oncology.

Our program is a well-structured system of one-on-one clinical rotations, supported by site and rotation-specific clinical objectives. There is a systematic approach to resident evaluation based on these objectives.  The Radiation Oncology program at Queen's has the advantage of being a small program with a 1:1 of residents to staff radiation oncologists.  Residents who choose to come to our program quickly realize that they are being welcomed into our family which exists in an extremely friendly and supportive environment.  Our staff are committed to educating and nurturing each resident to achieve their full potential with a thorough preparedness for the RCPSC examination.

We welcome enquiries from prospective residents and I look forward to hearing from you.


Catherine de Metz, MD, FRCPC
Program Director

Program Overview


READ QROK - RADIATION ONCOLOGY CBME Newsletters

March 2017     |     February 2017

NEW FOR JULY 2017!

In alignment with the strategic plan of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Queen’s is moving forward with transitioning to a Competency Based Medical Education (CBME) program for ALL Residency Programs, effective July 2017. The Radiation Oncology program is a national leader in this regard.

It is very important to us that the residents feel at home in our program.  The first two months of PGY-1 will be spent in the Transition to Discipline (TTD) Stage of the CBME program.  This is a combination of both didactic and interactive sessions, with clinical activities in the afternoons.  Residents are introduced to the goals and assessment tools of Transition to Discipline (TTD).  We are developing the Foundations Stage for implementation soon.  Currently, after TTD, residents will continue with off-service rotations to develop skills in Surgery, Internal Medicine, Diagnostic Imaging and Gyne-Oncology.

The PGY-2 through 4 years will be the Foundations and Core Stages of CBME. Residents will develop skills required for radiation oncology practice, including assessments and management of cancer patients, moving from the common to the complicated as their skill set increases.   Rotations in Pathology, Medical Oncology, Pediatric Radiation Oncology and Palliative Care play a role in consolidating clinical knowledge.  
Residents will begin to have independent practices with involvement of the Consult service in hospital, where they become the program representative to other services.  In addition, senior residents are provided the opportunity to maintain their own clinical practice one half day a week, under the guidance of an Attending staff member.  
Part of the integration of the basic sciences into clinical practice is through the learning of Medical Physics, from the basics to the applied, with strong input from our Medical Physics department.  Through treatment planning rounds to the treatment planning exams, residents will learn how to apply physics principles to enhance patient safety.

During the PGY-5 year, residents will be focusing on successful completion of their Royal College Fellowship examination, but will also be preparing for Transition to Practice (TTP) Stage.  Focus will be on increasing self-confidence and acquiring the skills for evolution from residency to career.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR GRADUATING RADIATION ONCOLOGY RESIDENT, DR. JENNY JIN!!

Name: Chunzi Jenny Jin

Specialty: Radiation Oncology

Post-Graduate Year: 5 (2016/17)

Medical School: University of Toronto

Scholarly Interests: Radiation Oncology, communication with patients, health services research

Research Involvement:  Access to cancer care, quality of cancer care, cancer outcomes, knowledge translation, population-based models for cancer service planning

Achievements:  Recipient of the Roentgen Resident/Fellow Research Award 2016

Personal Interests: Running, hiking, oil painting

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Name: Harry Brastianos

Post-Graduate Year: 3 (2016/17)

Specialty: Radiation Oncology

Medical School: Queen’s University   

Scholarly Interests: Breast Brachytherapy

Research Involvement:  

1) Supervisor: Dr. Conrad Falkson Summary: Lead an investigation on using electromagnetic technology to enhance guidance of catheter needles in breast brachytherapy, lead a research study on using electromagnetic technology to teach learners how to perform breast brachytherapy, Run a clinical trial on using electromagenetic tracking in breast brachytherapy.
Presented the research at provincial, national and international conferences
Presented research at Breast Reconstruction Awareness day, a conference for members of the community on breast cancer

2) Supervisor: Dr. Catherine deMetz Summary:Lead a clinical trial on using virgin coconut oil 

Peer-Reviewed Publications
Brastianos HC, Cahill DP, Brastianos PK. Systemic therapy of brain metastases. Current neurology and neuroscience reports. 2015; 15:518.

Grossman R, Brastianos H*, Tyler B, Lal B, Zadnik P, Rory GC, Brem H, Blakeley JO. Combination of Anti-VEGF Therapy and Temozolomide Enhance Survival in U87 Gliomas. J. Neurooncol. 2014; 116:59-65. *Co-first author

Grossman R, Rudek MA, Brastianos H, Zadnik P, Brem H, Tyler B, Blakeley JO. The impact of bevacizumab on temozolomide concentrations in intracranial U87 gliomas. Cancer Chemother. Pharm. 2012; 70: 129-139.

Brastianos PK, Brastianos HC, Hsu W, Scuibba DM, Koszotowski T, Tyler BM, Recinos VR, Burger P, Grossman SA. The toxicity of intrathecal bevacizumab in a rabbit model of leptomeningeal carcinomatosis. J. Neurooncol. 2012; 106: 81-88.

Book Chapters/Monographs
Brastianos PK, Brastianos HC, Eichler AF. Leptomeningeal Carcinomatosis. In: Palmieri, D, ed. Central Nervous System Metastasis, the Biological Basis and Clinical Consideration. Springer. 2013: 187-201.

Abstracts and Presentations
Brastianos HC,Vaughan T, Lasso A, Westerland M, Gooding J, Fichtinger G, Falkson CB. Electromagnetic tracking for catheter insertion guidance for HDR breast brachytherapy: a phantom experiment. American Society for Radiation Oncology, 58th Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, September 25-28, 2016. Int J Radiat Oncol Bio Phys. 2016; 96(2):E643.

Brastianos HC. Bladder Conservation Therapy. Urology Nurses of Canada, Urologic Excellence Conference, September 22-24, 2016.

Brastianos HC, Vaughan T, Lasso A, Westerland M, Gooding J, Fichtinger G, Falkson CB. Electromagnetic tracking for catheter insertion guidance for HDR breast brachytherapy: demonstration of concept in phantoms. Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology, 30th Annual Scientific Meeting, Banff, Alberta, Canada, September 14-17, 2016. Radiothe Oncol, 2016, Vol 120, S73-S74.

Vaughan T, Brastianos HC, Lasso A, Westerland M, Ungi T, Falkson CB, Fichtinger G. Catheter targeting under electromagnetic guidance in breast brachytherapy – a demonstration of concept. Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery, 30th International Congress, Heidelberg, Germany, June 21-25, 2016. Int J CARS, 2016, Suppl 1, S60-62.

Brastianos HC, Vaughan T, Lasso A, Westerland M, Gooding J, Fichtinger G, Falkson CB. Electromagnetic tracking for catheter insertion guidance for HDR breast brachytherapy: demonstration of concept. Cancer Care Ontario Research Day, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 18, 2016.

Brastianos HC, Owen T. Spontaneous Regression of a Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Left Hilum. McMaster University Health Sciences, 11th Annual Ontario Thoracic Cancer Conference, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, April 8-10, 2016.

Vaughan T, Brastianos HC, Lasso A, Westerland M, Ungi T, Falkson CB, Fichtinger G. Electromagnetically-guided catheter insertions in breast phantoms for brachytherapy. Imaging Network Ontario, 14th Symposium, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 30-31, 2016.

Brastianos HC. Treating Palliative Patients. South East Regional Hospice Volunteer & Volunteer Coordinators Education Day. Kingston, Ontario, Canada, March 7, 2016

Brastianos, HC. Bone Metastases. Ontario Association of Medical Radiation Sciences. Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 2015.

Brastianos, HC. Bladder Conservation Therapy. Ontario Association of Medical Radiation Sciences. Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 2014.

Brastianos, HC. Cancer Screening, a Guide for Patients.  Life Meetings in a community setting. Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 2014.

Brastianos, HC. The Impact on Bevacizumab of Temozolomide in Glioblastoma Multiforme.  Presentation to the Department of Neurology, Grand Rounds, at Kingston General Hospital. Kingston, Ontario, Canada 2013.

Brastianos, HC. The Impact on Bevacizumab on Temozolomide in Glioblastoma Multiforme.  Presentation to the Department of Oncology at Kingston General Hospital. Kingston, Ontario, Canada 2013.

Personal Interests: soccer, running, reading

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Name: Mohamed (Mo) Abdi

Post-Graduate Year:  3 (2016/17)

Specialty: Radiation Oncology

Medical School: University of Minnesota

Scholarly Interests:  Quality Assurance in Radiation Oncology, Cutaneous Oncology, GBM, Patient Care

Current Research Involvement: Marjolin Ulcer Systematic review of modern series, Patient Care: Consent process satisfaction project

Personal Interests:  travelling, hiking and camping, sci-fi everything, weight training 

 
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Name: Samantha Sigurdson

Post-Graduate Year: 2 (2016/17)

Specialty: Radiation Oncology

Medical School: McMaster University

Scholarly Interests: Cancer health services research, quality of life, quality of cancer care, cancer outcomes

Current Research Involvement: A collaborative project with multiple centres located worldwide to conduct retrospective searches of each centre’s radiology and pathology databases, and link our data sets to determine the incidence of primary mediastinal tumours. My supervisor is Dr. Falkson.

I am currently applying to the Clinician Investigator Program (CIP) and plan to start a Master’s in Epidemiology in 2017 at Queen’s. My thesis supervisor will be Dr. Brundage.

Personal Interests: hiking (especially with my dog!), intramural sports (volleyball, soccer), trying new ice cream/frozen yogurt places, Netflix marathons


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Name:   Osbert Zalay           

Post-Graduate Year:   2 (2016/17)

Specialty:   Radiation Oncology

Medical School:   Queen’s University

Scholarly Interests:   Computational methods in medicine and oncology, bioinformatics, immunotherapy

Current Research Involvement:  Development of machine-learning based analytical and predictive models of medical imaging and bioinformatics data, with focus on oncologic applications. Collaborating with Dr. Tomas Babak (Dept. of Biology, Dept. of Pathology and Molecular Medicine) whose research activities are in high-throughput computational genomics, epigenetics, next-gen sequencing and gene editing

Personal Interests:   Playing the pipe organ (usually at St. George’s Cathedral in Kingston in the middle of the night when no one is around), music composition, outdoors activities like hiking, kayaking, etc.

 

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Name: Michael Yan  

Post-Graduate Year: 1 (2016/17)

Specialty: Radiation Oncology

Medical School: Western University

Scholarly Interests: Breast, colorectal treatment and management

Research Involvement:  Cutaneous lymphoma case report, Lymph node management in breast cancer review

Personal Interests:  Basketball, tennis, painting

 

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Name: Niki Moideen

Post-Graduate Year: PGY1

Specialty: Radiation Oncology

Medical School: Dalhousie University

Scholarly Interests: Quality Improvement

Research Involvement:  

Manuscripts: Moideen N, Marozouk K, Thompson K, Wood L. Measuring Quality Care in Localized Renal Cell Cancer: Utilization of Preoperative Investigations in a Population based Cohort.  Accepted October 2016 to Current Oncology.

Abstracts:  Marzouk K, Moideen N, Thompson K, Wood L. Analysis of RCC recurrence & mortality in a population based cohort of surgical patients from Nova Scotia.  Oral presentation: Canadian Urological Association Annual Meeting, St. John’s NFLD, 2014.

Himmelman J, Merrimen J, Moideen N, Marzouk K, Thompson K, Wood L. Pathology and outcome of non-clear cell RCC in a population based cohort of Nova Scotia patients.  Poster Presentation: Canadian Urological Association Annual Meeting, St. Johns, NFLD, 2014

Achievements: 12th Annual Department of Radiation Oncology/ Division of Medical Oncology Resident Research Day, Halifax NS, 2014  Award: Runner Up Oral presentation.

Personal Interests: Hiking, paddle boarding and traveling 

Name: Melody Qu

Completed residency: 2017     

Current Position/location: Clinical fellow

Scholarly Interests:  Health services research

Current Research Involvement: GI, GU, sarcoma

Medical School: university of Toronto 

About the program:  Program at Queen's university provided me the core training in radiation oncology, which has prepared me to be independent and competent radiation oncologist. I had lots of research opportunity to explore difference area of research.  The residents at our program are extremely collegial and we have great staff support.

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Name:
 Pierre-Yves McLaughlin

Completed Residency Year: 2016

Current Position/location: Attending Radiation Oncologist, Gatineau Hospital, Gatineau, QC

Scholarly Interests: Health Services Research, Medical Education

Current Research Involvement:  The Impact of Radiation Oncology Outreach Activities on the Utilization of Radiation Therapy. ASTRO 2016 poster presentation. Manuscript in preparation

Achievements: Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology Annual Meeting 2015 - Best Poster Presentation Award; American Brachytherapy Society 2016 High-Dose Rate Brachytherapy Scholarship Award

Medical School: Sherbrooke, QC

About the program: Queen's Radiation Oncology provides thorough exposure to all major clinical disease sites as well as stellar medical physics teaching. The program gives residents time to explore many research and/or teaching opportunities on varied subjects, with past residents having completed Master's degrees, or winning international and national research awards. The resident facilities (ample workspace, individual contouring screens) and work atmosphere (friendly and supportive staff - physicians and others), along with the awesome work-life balance Kingston provides, are second-to-none among all Radiation Oncology residency programs in Canada. I would do it all again!

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Name: 
Martin Korzeniowski

Completed Residency Year: 2016

Current Position/location: Kingston Health Sciences Centre, prior: Brachytherapy Fellow, BC Cancer Agency

Scholarly Interests: Prostate HDR Brachytherapy, Focal Dose Escalation with MR planning, Interstitial Gynecological HDR Brachytherapy with Image-Adaptive Planning, Partial Breast Permanent Seed Implant 

Current Research Involvement:  Degeralix Prostate Cytoreduction prior to Implant, Quality of Life Outcomes in Prostate Brachytherapy, HDR Monotherapy Treatment, HDR Salvage with Partial Prostate Implant, Outcomes for HPV-positive Penile Cancers

Medical School: McMaster University, Hamilton

About the program: I enjoyed the commitment to teaching from all the staff.

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Name: Kadir Mullings

Completed Residency Year: 2015

Current Position/location: Staff Radiation Oncologist, Coborn Cancer Center, Minnesota, USA

Scholarly Interests: CNS disease, Prostate Cancer, Radiosurgery

Current Research Involvement:  None currently.

Achievements: Beatrice and Harold Cohen award for medical ethics 2015

Medical School: University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica

About the program: There were a lot of great things about the residency program however, the thing that stood out most to me was the interest everyone involved in my training took to ensure I could fulfil my true potential as a radiation oncologist. It was clear that their main objective was to see me succeed! 

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Name: Oluwabunmi Ogundimu

Completed Residency Year: 2015

Current Position/location: Locum Radiation Oncologist

Scholarly Interests:  Breast, Lung, Ethics and healthcare access

Current Research Involvement:  SubQI for breast clinical trials

Medical School: University of Toronto

About the program: Great resident camaraderie and support. One-on-One clinics with radiation oncologists. 

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Name:  
Marc-Emile Plourde

Completed program: 2013

And then…: Fellowship in stereotactic ablative radiotherapy at The Ottawa Hospital 2014

Current position: Staff radiation oncologist at CIUSS de l’Estrie CHUS.  Associate professor, Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé, Université de Sherbrooke.

Interests: Stereotactic radiotherapy, lung cancer and technology

Current research: Accruing too many CCTG and NRG protocols

Achievements: Grant from the Fondation Baxter & Alma Ricard (2013-2014).  In the media:

1)      http://www.lapresse.ca/la-tribune/actualites/201607/14/01-5001116-un-nouveau-traitement-contre-le-cancer-du-poumon-est-offert.php

2)      www.radiotherapie.ca

3)      http://www.thepharmafist.com/cancer/

Medical School: Université de Sherbrooke

About the program: Queen’s radiation oncology residency program is a well-rounded program where you feel like you’re part of a big family.  It’s rigorous and relaxed at the same time.  Resident support is excellent.

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Name: Lara Best

Completed Residency: 2013

Current position/location: Staff Radiation Oncologist / Assistant Professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS

Scholarly Interests: Medical Education, Head and neck cancers, thoracic cancers, CNS cancers

Current Research Involvement:

1. Submitted for publication to Radiotherapy and Oncology: Radiation Therapy Quality Indicators for Invasive Breast Cancer

2. Transition to Practice in Radiation Oncology: Masters/PhD project in Medical Education - currently in the design phase. Working to set-up a pan-Canadian panel to determine the needs of senior residents for a transition to practice module after completion of their Royal College Examination in PGY5 (to fulfill the Royal College CanMEDS roles and module under the new CBD program). I am currently setting up a steering committee (pan-Canadian), to help design a questionnaire to go out across Canada so that the curriculum I design is evidence & expert based. I have attached the current proposal which I am presenting as part of my Masters of Education I just started... (On talking with Dr. Joan Sargeant, this is likely to turn into a PhD project)

Achievements:

1. Nominated for PARO Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award, Queen's University 2015

2. Radiation Oncology Resident Research Award, University of Western Ontario 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

3. Heavily involved in Resident teaching - but no real recognition/awards for that!

4. First year Clinical Skills tutor Fall 2015 - Dalhousie University

Medical School: Queen's University

What would you say/like the most about Queen's Radiation Oncology Program: 

1. The departmental environment is friendly and supportive, which fosters learning and collaboration among the residents and all staff. I believe this is the biggest strength of the program. The residents help each other, not just with learning, but call coverage, handover, difficult contouring etc. It feels more like a community!

2. There is exposure to numerous modalities of treatment including brachytherapy, superficial/orthovoltage, electrons and photon therapy.  

3. The program is very adaptable and open to new ideas and projects. Ie: starting practice exams for PGY5s on a weekly basis, etc.

Admission to Radiation Oncology

Admission to the Radiation Oncology Program at Queen’s University is coordinated through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) main residency match.  For the most current information about timelines and prerequisites, please refer to the CaRMS website.

Positions Available
Approximate Quota:  2
Selection Criteria
 Candidates with the following attributes will be considered favorably:
  • knowledge of and prior interest in radiation oncology, which may be demonstrated, for example, by previous electives in this specialty
  • good communication and interpersonal skills
  • a good or above-average academic record
  • We are looking for and rewarding applicants who have completed a broad range of electives which include our specialty
We do not require applicants to do on site electives to be considered for selection

Supporting Documentation
  • Medical School Transcript - Order from your Registrar
  • Medical Student Performance Record - Order from your Dean's Office
  • Three reference letters are required.  Letters must be from staff. Reference letters from Radiation Oncologists are preferred, but not required. More than three letters may be submitted but the total value given for the reference letters does not change.
  • A personal letter is required. Topics to be covered include: personal strengths and weaknesses, career goals if known, and reasons for choosing this program.

Educational Activities

Numerous educational opportunities are available for residents.  A weekly Academic Half Day is mandatory and residents are relieved of their clinical responsibilities during this time.  These half-days include a core seminar series in clinical oncology and radiation treatment planning, as well as surgical oncology, medical oncology, diagnostic imaging and pathology in addition to sessions aimed at competencies related to the other CanMEDS roles.

Other didactic teaching includes comprehensive formal teaching in basic sciences (physics and radiobiology).  Weekly physics sessions are given according to a two year repeating curriculum which is taught by senior physicists in the department.  Courses in statistics and clinical trials are given and enrollment in graduate courses is available.

Residents attend journal club with staff oncologists, helping to reinforce critical appraisal skills and new evidence in Radiation Oncology.  Regular interdisciplinary clinical conferences take place covering all major tumor sites several times each week.  Residents also attend and are regularly required to present at the Department of Oncology weekly Grand Rounds and the weekly Division of Radiation Oncology Continuing Medical Education rounds.

Research

One of the strong assets if the research component of the program is access to several internationally renowned cancer research groups based at the Queen’s Cancer Research Institute (QCRI).  Several members of these groups are also members of the Radiation Oncology division.

The program is committed to providing a wide range of research opportunities for residents.  A research mentor is assigned on entry into the program and residents are expected to have at least one research project underway by the second year and expected to complete a research project during their training period.

The Division of Cancer Care and Epidemiology (CCE) at QCRI is a cancer health services research unit comprised of clinician-scientists, epidemiologists and biostatisticians.  This multidisciplinary research group evaluates access to cancer service, the management and outcome of cancer in the general population, and public policy related to cancer prevention and treatment.

The Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) is a national research group that develops, conducts and analyses multi-institutional trails of cancer therapy.  Residents are encouraged to participate in the clinical research activities and meetings of the CCTG.  This Queen’s University-based group is internationally recognized for its expertise in the design, conduct and analysis of Phase I, II and III clinical studies.  The group has extensive experience in research pertaining to quality of life, clinical trials methodology and the economic analysis of cancer therapies.  Members of this group participate in the clinical and educational activities of the Cancer Centre and are a willing resource for residents.