Meet The Cancer Experts - Dr. Laura Dawson

As a radiation oncologist I am very interested in developing new ways to deliver radiotherapy to treat all stages of liver cancer to help improve survival, quality of life preserve liver function and even help symptoms in patients.

Radiation, historically, has not been one of the established treatments for liver cancer for fear that it can cause toxicity to the liver so another part of my research is to look at strategies to how to avoid toxicity and how to mitigate or reduce the impact of toxicity if it occurs.

Unlike some more common cancers, there’s not as much advocacy and publicity about liver cancer but it’s a very important cancer. It’s the third most common cause of cancer death globally, it’s the actual fastest increasing cause of cancer death in Canada.

I have patients in my clinic who have been treated with radiotherapy, sometimes on its own, sometimes  combined with other therapies on trials, who have no disease.

They may be cured, at least of that cancer, and that is something that when I first met them was not an option so that’s extremely satisfying.