Gabriel Famulari

Name: Gabriel Famulari, MSc

Level at MPU: PhD

Email: gabriel.famulari [at] mail.mcgill.ca

Supervisor(s): Dr. Shirin Enger

Research interests: Radiation dosimetry, intensity modulated brachytherapy, microdosimetry

 

Research summary

Brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy that uses radioactive nuclides that are implanted through interstitial needles and intracavitary or intraluminal applicators inside or near the tumour giving a high radiation dose to the malignant volume while maintaining a low dose to surrounding healthy tissues. Typically, high dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy is performed using Ir-192 sources. Intensity modulated brachytherapy (IMBT) is a novel technique of HDR brachytherapy delivered using rotating high-Z shields that can be dynamically controlled to direct radiation away from healthy tissues. The partially-shielded catheters remove the constraint that dose distributions must be radially symmetric about each individual applicator. The main advantage of this technique resides in the improved ability to spare the surrounding healthy tissue from radiation, reducing the severity of the complications relative to HDR brachytherapy. The aim of my project is to develop a prototype delivery system for IMBT used in combination with a Yb-169 source, and evaluate the benefits of this technique for the important tumour sites treated with brachytherapy, such as head & neck, prostate, and gynaecological cancers. IMBT has the potential to decrease normal tissue toxicity and produce highly conformal dose distributions, resulting in improved patient outcomes.

 

Key publications

  1. Famulari G, Renaud MA, Poole CM, Evans MDC, Seuntjens J, Enger SA. RapidBrachyMCTPS: a Monte Carlo-based treatment planning system for brachytherapy applications. Phys Med Biol 63(17): 175007 (2018).
  2. Barberio M, Scisciò M, Vallières S, Cardelli F, Chen SN, Famulari G, Gangolf T, Revet G, Schiavi A, Senzacqua M, Antici P. Laser-accelerated particle beams for stress testing of materials. Nature Communications 9(1): 372 (2018).
  3. Famulari G, Pater P, Enger SA. Microdosimetric evaluation of current and alternative brachytherapy sources - a Geant4-DNA simulation study. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. (2017).
  4. Famulari G, Urlich T, Armstrong A, Enger SA. Practical aspects of 153Gd as a radioactive source for use in brachytherapy. Appl Radiat Isot. (2017).
  5. Famulari G, Pater P, Enger SA. Microdosimetry calculations for monoenergetic electrons using Geant4-DNA combined with a weighted track sampling algorithm. Phys Med Biol 62(13): 5495-5508 (2017).

 

Awards

NSERC - Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS D) (2018-2020) 

FQRNT - Doctoral Research Scholarship (2018-2020) / Declined

Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) Travel Award (2018) 

Schulich Graduate Scholarship - McGill (2017-2018)

Grad Travel Award (2017)