Aaron Ward receives Prostate Cancer Canada’s Rising Star in Prostate Cancer Research Award

Congratulations to Aaron Ward, PhD, on receiving Prostate Cancer Canada’s Rising Star in Prostate Cancer Research Award.

Ward, assistant professor in the Departments of Medical Biophysics and Oncology at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, will receive a total of $446,856 between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2017 for his research titled “Multi-Modality Radiomics for Personalized Prostate Cancer Care.”

Prostate cancer is often treated by whole-prostate radiation treatment or surgery, which may cause side effects such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. However, not all men need such invasive treatment.

One of the major problems physicians have is how to determine the right treatment for each patient, which is currently done using a blood test and a needle biopsy. Ward’s research proposes 3D magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to completely map the prostate, which will show the physician where the tumours are located and how quickly they are growing.

His research also proposes the development of an artificially intelligent computer system to help physicians translate these complex images into a simple 3D cancer map that enables guided biopsies to targets and help choose the right treatment for each patient.

The system will be made available for remote access worldwide so any cancer centre can use it for clinical trial.

Funded in part by the Movember Foundation, the Rising Star in Prostate Cancer Research  Award provides salary and research support for outstanding researchers initiating a career as independent investigators in prostate cancer research. It also provides research scientists with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate independence in initiating and conducting prostate cancer research within the first five years of their first academic or research appointment.