Derek Wells

Derek Wells
Adjunct Associate Professor
BC Cancer - Victoria
Office: BC Cancer - Victoria

PhD (Clemson), MCCPM

Area of expertise

Gated radiotherapy, Motion artifacts in x-ray CT

Overview of research

My current area of focus is concerned with developing radiotherapy treatment techniques for breast or lung cancer that optimally account for patient breathing motion. Radiotherapy treatments that are gated to a phase of respiration have the potential of reducing target margins, thereby, either sparing healthy tissue or allowing for higher doses to be delivered to targets without increasing the likelihood of complications. The variability of a patient's breathing pattern on a day-to-day basis makes this task challenging. Breathing motion is of particular concern for advanced treatment techniques such as intensity modulated radiotherapy that deliver highly conformal dose distributions.

I have also been studying the effects of motion artefacts on the computed tomography images that are used to design our radiotherapy plans.


Graduate students

  • Warren Campbell (PhD)

Recent publications

  • Wells, D.M., Lim, J. (2005). Lung target volume inaccuracies due to motion in non-gated and gated CT images. Med. Phys 32(6): 1947. 
  • Wells, D.M., Ansbacher, W., Kalach, N., Duzenli, C. (2004). Three-dimensional dose verification of intensity modulated radiotherapy plans for locoregionally advanced head and neck cancer. Radiotherapy and Oncology, 72(S1): 12. 
  • Larsson, S., Wong, F., Wu, J., Kader, S., Berthelet, E., Karvat, A., Wells, D., Duzenli, C., Vollans, E. (2004). Acute and subacute toxicities and response rates in a pilot study of intensity modulated radiotherapy for locoregionally advanced head and neck squamous cell cancer. Radiotherapy and Oncology, 72(S1): 54. 
  • Wells, D.M., Picco, P.J., Ansbacher, W. (2003). Electron energy constancy verification using a double-wedge phantom. J. Appl. Clin. Med. Phys., 4(3): 204-208. 
  • Wells, D.M., Walrath, D., Craighead, P.S. (2000). Improvement in tangential breast planning efficiency using a knowledge-based expert system. Med. Dosimetry, 25(3): 133-138. 
  • Wells, D.M., Niederer, J. (1998). A medical expert system approach using artificial neural networks for standardized treatment planning. Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys., 41(1): 173-182.