James Renaud

Name: James Renaud

Level at MPU: Postdoc

Email: james.renaud [at] mail.mcgill.ca

Website: https://linktr.ee/jwrenaud

Supervisor(s): Dr. Jan Seuntjens

Research interests: Radiation therapy physics, Radiation dosimetry, Calorimetry

Link to CV


Research summary

The goal of radiotherapy is to treat cancer by delivering a prescribed radiation dose to a target volume while limiting the dose to healthy tissues. The accuracy to which the prescribed dose can be delivered and the level to which normal tissues can be spared depend on the accuracy to which the dose (energy deposited per unit mass) can be determined for a given treatment. There are several steps involved in determining the dose, including the transfer of dosimeter calibration factors from a standards lab to the clinic, and relative measurements under non-reference conditions based on a reference dose. The proposed research focuses on developing two calorimetry-based dosimetry systems to improve the accuracy of these steps. Calorimetry-based detectors are unique in that no radiation is required for calibration and thus offer the most direct means to measure dose.

The first of these systems is a miniaturized probe-format graphite calorimeter, the first ever absolute dosimeter designed for routine clinical application (Patent No. PCT/CA2013/000523). Calorimeters have been used as primary standards for decades, however they have always been too bulky and fragile for clinical use. With a series of functioning prototypes built and a proof-of-concept completed, the current aim of our work is to apply this technology to MR-guided radiotherapy, an area which is proving to be problematic for conventional dosimeters.

We are also developing a cutting edge water calorimeter as a prototype dosimetry standard for ion beam radiation. Ion beams (e.g., proton, carbon ion) have gained considerable interest because of their sharp penumbrae and distal dose fall off combined with an increased relative biological effectiveness. This project consists of a numerical design optimization study modeling the dosimetric responses of the calorimeter to ion radiation, followed by experimental validation studies in a proton and carbon ion beam. Experimental collaborators include the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre (UK), National Physical Laboratory (UK), Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) and Gunma University Heavy Ion Medical Center (Japan).


Key publications

  1. Renaud J, Sarfehnia A, Bancheri J, et al., "Aerrow: A probe-format graphite calorimeter for use as a local absorbed dose standard for clinical high-energy photon and electron beams," Med. Phys., 2016. [Submitted]
  2. Lourenço A, Thomas R, Homer M, et al., “Fluence correction factor for graphite calorimetry in a clinical high-energy carbon-ion beam,” Phys. Med. Biol., 2016 [Submitted]
  3. Renaud J, Rossomme S, Sarfehnia A, et al., "Development and application of a water calorimeter for short-range particle beams," Phys. Med. Biol., 2016. dx.doi.org/10.1088/0031-9155/61/18/6602
  4. Renaud J, Sarfehnia A, Marchant K, et al., “Direct measurement of electron beam quality conversion factors using water calorimetry,” Med. Phys., 2015, dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4931970
  5. Renaud J, Marchington D, Seuntjens J, et al., “Development of a graphite probe calorimeter for absolute clinical dosimetry,” Med. Phys., 2013;40(2): Medical Physics Letter, 020701-1, dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4773870
  6. Renaud J, Sarfehnia A, Seuntjens J, Method and system for calorimetry probe, PCT International Publication Number WO 2013/1777677, filed May 2013, patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/WO2013177677.
  7. Martin S, Rodrigues G, Chen Q, et al., “Evaluation of tomotherapy MVCT image enhancement program for tumor volume delineation,” J. Appl. Clin. Med. Phys., 2011;12(3):112-121, dx.doi.org/10.1120/jacmp.v12i3.3505
  8. Renaud J, Yartsev S, Dar AR, et al., “Successful treatment of primary renal lymphoma using image guided helical TomoTherapy,” Can. J. Urol., 2009;16(3):4639-4647. PMID: 19497170
  9. Renaud J, Yartsev S, Dar AR, et al., “Adaptive radiation therapy for localized mesothelioma with mediastinal metastasis using helical tomotherapy,” Med. Dosim., 2009;34(3):233-242, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meddos.2008.10.002



(2016) NSERC Idea to Innovation (I2I) Grant - Phase I

(2016) 1st Prize, McGill Dobson Cup Start Up Competition (Health Sciences track)

(2016) AAPM Science Council Associates Mentorship Program 

(2015) Schulich Graduate Fellowship in Physics

(2015) The Terry Fox Foundation Strategic Training Initiative for Excellence in Radiation Research for the 21st Century (EIRR21) Scholar

(2012-2015) CIHR Graduate Scholarship Doctoral Award (CGS D)

(2014) Sylvia Fedoruk Prize

(2012 & 2015) J.R. Cunningham Young Investigator Runner-up

(2014) Reginald Fessenden Prize in Science Innovation

(2011) NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS M)


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