Imagine trying to aim at a moving target, knowing that if you hit outside the bull’s eye, the consequences could be serious. In this case, the bull’s eye is a tumor and missing the mark could mean serious side effects for patients receiving radiation therapy.
Treating tumours with radiation has long been an accepted technique for treating cancer. However, targeting tumours in organs that may move such as lung, prostate, and stomach can be a challenge. Also sparing radiation sensitive organs such as the rectum and bladder which are adjacent to a tumour site provides an additional complication. To meet this challenge, the Linac MR Research group at the Cross Cancer Institute(CCI) has pursued the possibility of merging the imaging capabilities of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI or MR) system with the radiation treatment capabilities of a Linear Accelerator (linac).
A Hybrid Linac MRI System
The CCI Hybrid system comprises a 6 MV linac mounted on the open end of a biplanar, low-field MRI magnet, with both the linac and magnet on a single gantry that rotates around the patient. CCI Researchers are investigating the influence of this scheme, dubbed rotating-biplanar geometry, on dose distributions. A fully functioning head system (6MV linac with 0.2 T MRI) was built and tested in Dec. 2008. At present, a whole-body (60 cm opening) hybrid is being built (6 MV linac and a 0.6 T superconducting MRI) having a transverse and a longitudinal configuration. Designs are shown in the Gallery
- 6 MV Linac
- 0.5- 0.6 T superconducting magnet MRI
- real-time imaging
- real-time tumour tracking
- image guided adaptive radiotherapy
- 27 cm gap for the head prototype (Phase 1)
- 60 cm gap for the whole body prototype (Phase 2)
- >60 cm gap (Phase 3)
Two new publications have been added. Click Here to view the list.
Whole Body Linac-MR installed in an existing vault (20 x 20 x 12 ft high) without removing and rebuilding the walls or ceiling. Click Here to go to the Gallery
The Linac-MR Project Team lead by Dr B.G. Fallone has been awarded a $5M grant by Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions (AIHS) to develop a Clinical Linac-MR system for Image-guided Radiation Therapy