Paul Read, PhD

Paul Read, PhD

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Image-guided stereotactic radiation therapy

The Read research group involves improvements in radiotherapy and treatments for head and neck cancer and extracranial image guided stereotactic radiation therapy.

With respect to head and neck cancer they have developed departmental protocols for the development of a head and neck cancer IMRT program using two different technologies over the past four years and have a HIC approved database with over 180 patients to track the outcomes of head and neck cancer treated at this institution.  They are currently comparing the radiation dosimetry differences of these two technologies.  Dr. Read participates as a co-investigator for a Phase I institutional study of a novel combination of chemotherapy with intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for locally advanced Head and Neck Cancer.  He is also the PI of a pilot study to assay serum angiogenic factors weekly in oropharyngeal cancer patients who are undergoing definitive radiation therapy to determine how they might change over a course of treatment.  Finally he is the PI on two separate pharmaceutical studies examining the role of a radiosensitizer (Cetuximab) and a radioprotector (Benzydamine) delivered concurrently with radiotherapy for head and neck cancer and they continue to monitor these patients at this time.

With respect to extracranial image guided stereotactic radiation therapy (SRT) they have been developing a Helical Tomotherapy based program at this institution that has treated a total of 10 patients over the past 3 months.  SRT is the treatment of small cancerous lesions with 1-5 fractions of high dose per fraction conformal radiation therapy. This research program is supported both by the University of Virginia and by Tomotherapy Inc. They are performing dosimetric studies a Helical Tomotherapy based system to more conventional linac based systems in collaboration with Dr. Brian Kavanaugh M.D. at the University of Colorado to determine how their system compares to over commercially available planning and delivery systems.  They are studying the effects of respiratory motion on the delivered radiation doses of Helical Tomotherapy based SRT using a programmable motion phantom that can reproduce patient respiratory patterns.  They are comparing the calculated dosimetry of the static plan to the measured dose delivered to both a static and moving phantom to determine what effects motion has on treatment delivery. Finally, they are also examining the role of four dimensional MRI based treatment planning for SRT of pulmonary lesions and assaying the effects of SRT on alveolar function utilizing MRI based hyperpolarized noble gas diffusion analysis on both humans and in a rabbit animal model in an effort to obtain initial data to determine what the alveolar radiation tolerance dose is in high dose per fraction SRT.