Brad Warkentin


Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry - Oncology Dept
(780) 432-8293
Cross Cancer Institute
11560 University Avenue
Edmonton AB
T6G 1Z2


Area of Study / Keywords

Microbeam radiation therapy dosimetry modeling


Dr. Brad Warkentin is currently appointed as Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.


Synchrotron-based Radiotherapy Applications: Microbeam Radiotherapy
The Canadian Light Source (CLS) in Saskatoon is one of a handful of x-ray synchrotrons worldwide with dedicated biomedical beamlines. The beamlines offer novel imaging and radiotherapy modalities that exploit the unique beam characteristics, which include extreme flux rates, minimal beam divergence, monochromaticity, and coherence. One of my primary research interests is exploring the potential of microbeam radiotherapy (MRT), a preclinical form of RT using large doses (100’s of Gy) of extremely small slits of radiation (~ 50 μm). Preliminary cellular and animal studies have shown a remarkable tolerance of normal tissues to such deliveries, motivating further research into its use as a potential alternative therapy for specific human cancers (e.g. pediatric brain cancers). Due to the large doses rates, low beam energies and tiny beams, accurate knowledge of MRT dose distributions is a significant challenge. Our current research has focused on improving and developing the techniques for MRT dosimetry.

MR-Linac: Monte Carlo Dosimetry
Another recent research interest of mine is further developing the Monte Carlo modeling infrastructure for calculating radiotherapy dose distributions in the presence of the magnetic fields used with the MR-linac system at the Cross Cancer Institute. Future work may include incorporating the dosimetric effects of the magnetic fields in the IMRT optimization process.

Radiobiological Modeling
Radiobiological modeling aims to characterize and (hopefully) predict tumor response and normal tissue complication rates to radiotherapy in a quantitative manner so that better patient-specific treatment optimization can be achieved. However, current models are generally simplistic and have limited predictive power. I’m interested in exploring the limitations of current models, and developing improved models. A particularly interesting avenue investigation is the modeling of MRT response, and how it may be applied to more conventional modalities.


ONCOL 552 - Fundamentals of Applied Dosimetry

Theory and practical techniques of external beam radiotherapy and brachytherapy. Topics include single and multiple external beams, scatter analysis, inhomogeneity corrections, intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), dose calculation algorithms, fundamentals of brachytherapy, and brachytherapy dosimetry systems. Prerequisite: ONCOL 550.

ONCOL 554 - Laboratory in Medical Radiation Physics

Practical aspects of medical physics as applied to radiation therapy. Exposure to the operation of various therapy machines and dose measuring equipment. Application of techniques to measure physical parameters of radiation beams. Introduction to radiation treatment planning with techniques for specific tumor sites. Prerequisite: ONCOL 550. Corequisite: ONCOL 552.

ONCOL 566 - Radiation Biophysics

Current theories and models of cellular responses to ionizing radiation. Modification of radiation response. Radiobiology of normal and neoplastic tissue systems. Late effects of radiation on normal tissue. Radiobiological modeling of normal tissue complication, probability and tumor control probability.

ONCOL 600B - Graduate Medical Physics Seminar

Weekly seminars given by faculty on topics of interest to the medical physics community that are not formally included with the other didactic courses. Includes medical statistics, anatomy/physiology for medical physics, site-specific cancer, experience in clinic, Monte Carlo simulation, Matlab, MR spectroscopy, finite element analysis, and image fusion. No prerequisite.

Browse more courses taught by Brad Warkentin

Featured Publications

Chow B., Warkentin B., McEwen M., Huang F., Nanda K., Gamper A.M., Menon G.

RADIATION RESEARCH. 2022 April; 198 (1):40-56 10.1667/RADE-21-00205.1

Chow B., Warkentin B., Nanda K., Ghosh S., Huang F., Gamper A.M., Menon G.

PHYSICS IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY. 2022 February; 67 (4) 10.1088/1361-6560/ac4fa3

29: Tumour volume predicts for pathological complete response in rectal cancer patients treated with neoadjuvant chemoradiation

Radiotherapy and Oncology. 2021 October;

64: Predictors of Higher Radiation Dose in Rectal Cancer Patients Treated with Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation

Radiotherapy and Oncology. 2021 October;


Biomedical Optics Express. 2021 August; 12 (9):5812-5828 10.1364/BOE.433240

DISEASES OF THE COLON & RECTUM. 2021 June; online (ahead of print) 10.1097/DCR.0000000000001986

Hough CM, Purschke DN, Huang CX, Titova LV, Kovalchuk OV, Warkentin BJ, & Hegmann FA

Journal Physics Photonics (IOP). 2021 May; 3 (3):034004 (13 pages) 10.1088/2515-7647/abf742

IEEE Xplore. 2021 March; 10.1109/IRMMW-THz46771.2020.9370436

Abraham A, Usmani N, Warkentin B, Thai J, Yun J, Ghosh S, Cheung W, Xu Y, Nijjar T, Severin D, Tankel K, Fairchild A, Joseph K

Practical Radiation Oncology. 2021 January; 11 (1):E70-E79 10.1016/j.prro.2020.07.004

Dosimetric Parameters Predicting Late Small Bowel Toxicity In Rectal Cancer Patients Receiving Neo-Adjuvant Chemo-Radiation

Int J Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. 2020 November;

In-vitro determination of radiobiological parameter values used in cervical cancer brachytherapy