December 23, 2008 – The Cross Cancer Institute (CCI) in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada reported today that medical physicists have produced the first image from a linac-MR hybrid system on Dec. 10, 2008.
The MR images during 6 MV irradiation did not show significant distortions and were very similar to those obtained prior to irradiation, according to CCI. There was a small difference in signal-to-noise between images. The MR image was obtained during the irradiation from a 6 MV linac. The linac-MR system consists of a 6 MV linac mounted on the open end of a biplanar 0.2 T MRI. Both the linac and the MR system are mounted on a single gantry that would rotate around the patient. The opening between the planes of the biplanar MR system is about 27 cm, large enough for a head. The design of the system avoids mutual magnetic and RF interferences allowing for a real-time MR imaging irradiated by the linac.
The imaging experiment reportedly offers a proof-of-concept that CCI’s linac-MR system offers real-time MR imaging during irradiation by the 6 MV linac. Image optimization and testing is being performed to improve performance. A major scientific grant application has been submitted to the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Alberta Science and Research Investments Program to develop a whole body system for clinical research trials.