TH-AB-BRA-12: Experimental Results From the First High-Field Inline MRI-Linac




The pursuit of real-time image guided radiotherapy using optimal tissue contrast has seen the development of several hybrid MRI-treatment systems, high field and low field, and inline and perpendicular configurations. As part of a new MRI-Linac program, an MRI scanner was integrated with a linear accelerator to enable investigations of a coupled inline MRI-Linac system. This work describes our experimental results from the first high-field inline MRI-Linac.


A 1.5 Tesla magnet (Sonata, Siemens) was located in a purpose built RF cage enabling shielding from and close proximity to a linear accelerator with inline orientation. A portable linear accelerator (Linatron, Varian) was installed together with a multi-leaf collimator (Millennium, Varian) to provide dynamic field collimation and the whole assembly built onto a stainless-steel rail system. A series of MRI-Linac experiments was performed to investigate: (1) image quality with beam on measured using a macropodine (kangaroo) ex vivo phantom; (2) the noise as a function of beam state measured using a 6-channel surface coil array and; (3) electron focusing measured using GafChromic film.


(1) The macropodine phantom image quality with the beam on was almost identical to that with the beam off. (2) Noise measured with a surface RF coil produced a 25% elevation of background noise when the radiation beam was on. (3) Film measurements demonstrated electron focusing occurring at the center of the radiation field.


The first high-field MRI-Linac has been built and experimentally characterized. This system has allowed us to establish the efficacy of a high field in-line MRI-Linac and study a number of the technical challenges and solutions.

Supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Research Council, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation and the Health and Hospitals Fund.