Dr. David Jaffray
Head, Radiation Physics Department
The Princess Margaret

Dr. Frances Shepherd
Dr David Jaffray
“The traditional approach of doing research in an ivory tower is really being challenged in a place like a research hospital,” says Dr. David Jaffray. He leads a team that focuses on the development of imaging systems that improve the precision of radiation therapy by generating images at the time of therapy that guide the treatment delivery.

Radiation therapy is a proven cancer treatment and is employed to treat fifty percent of all cancer patients. This new approach to radiation therapy gives surgeons, radiologists and radiation oncologists a 3-dimensional view of the body during treatment, allowing them to see the exact location of cancerous tissues in real time. Many cancer patients are benefitting from this new approach, which improves survival rates and quality of life.

Before this approach, treatment was accurate to within a centimetre, and now a therapist can narrow the affected area down to within two or three millimetres.

The new technology uses a form of body imaging called cone-beam computed tomography. Previous technology pictured a 2-dimensional cross-section of an affected area, while the new technology generates 1,024 images at once and provides a real-time 3-dimensional picture of the patient’s interior.

Dr. Jaffray has formed highly effective partnerships with major manufacturers of imaging equipment. Through these partnerships, there is a much better understanding on the part of the manufacturers for the requirements of today’s radiation therapist.

In 2007, Dr. Jaffray was named Inventor of the Year by the UHN Office of Technology Development and Commercialization (TDC) for his creativity in bringing cutting-edge physics and engineering to the practice of imaging in the clinic.

"The fact that major imaging companies have chosen to co-locate projects in Dr. Jaffray's lab testifies to the level of innovation they see," says Dr. Brian Barber, Director of TDC. "He has been the driving force behind 4 licensed technologies and 12 invention disclosures since he joined UHN in 2002, and is listed as an inventor on 17 published patent applications.”

Additional Appointments
  • Principal, Image-Guided Therapy (IGTx) Group, Ontario Cancer Institute
  • Fidani Chair in Radiation Therapy Physics, Princess Margaret Hospital and the University Health Network
  • Associate Professor, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto
  • Site Leader, Medical Technology Innovation Priority Platform (OCI)

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