Cross Cancer Institute

Facilities are provided by the Medical Physics Dept. of the Cross Cancer Institute, Alberta Health Services, the University of Alberta and University of Alberta Hospitals. CCI facilities include:

  • Eight Varian linear accelerators with multileaf collimators and electronic portal imagers. A ninth linear accelerator is being replaced winter 2019-2020.
  • a Pantak orthovoltage x-ray machine
  • Two Phillips Large bore CT-simulators
  • a Nucletron MicroSelectron High Dose Rate (HDR) system
  • Two Nucletron Pulsed Dose Rate (PDR) systems

For radiation treatment planning, the CCI uses several different systems. The workhorse is the Varian Eclipse™ treatment planning system used for external beam treatments including conformal and intensity modulated radiation treatment (IMRT). It superseded two other treatment planning systems; an in-house developed Alberta Treatment Planning (ATP) system, used for simple 2d external beam planning and Helax TMS, a commercial treatment planning system used for 3d external beam treatment planning. The brachytherapy program includes a Nucletron Oncentra system for planning PDR (Pulsed Dose Rate) and HRD (High Dose Rate), the Varian Variseed software for LDR (Low Dose Rate) treatments, and the Plaque Simulator software for ocular brachytherapy.

Comprehensive diagnostic equipment is available, including CT, MRI, SPECT and PET imaging systems. All three MRI units; a Siemans 1.5T MRI, Philips 3T MRI/MRS and 9.4T animal MRI/MRS are on-site. The cyclotron / PET facility was installed in 2002-2004. The cyclotron is part of the the Centre for Biological Imaging and Adaptive Radiotherapy (CBIAR). Follow the links for a more comprehensive list of equipment in two clinical areas:

Centre for Biological Imaging and Adaptive Radiotherapy (CBIAR) at the CCI

This facility houses:

  1. an experimental whole body Linac-MR System (current under development)
  2. a cyclotron / PET facility for oncological applications
  3. a research 3T MRI and spectroscopy system.
  4. a research 9.4T MRI and spectroscopy system.

More information about the CBIAR Facility can be found here

Mechanical, Electronics and Computer Resources

The CCI has excellent facilities for the fabrication and maintenance of equipment required for research activities and clinical needs.

  • The machine shop is well equipped. New equipment recently acquired includes a Fusion3 F400 3-D printer.
  • A range of electronic equipment is available for making dosimetric measurements. This includes a Sun Nuclear dosimetry system that replaced a Wellhofer dosimetry system, a landauer microstar TLD reader, a Vidar Diagnostic Pro film scanner, and various ion chamber and solid state detectors.
  • A number of computers (typically with Intel Core, or Xeon class processors) running Windows and/or Linux are available for the short-term use of visitors, graduate students and faculty. In addition, two linux Rocks Clusters and a GPU computer are available for specialized compute intensive simulations. The first cluster consists of a head node and 3 computer nodes, each with 512GB of memory and 4 AMD Opteron 6376 Series processors. Each processor has 16 cores for a cluster total of 192 calculation cores. The second cluster consists of a head node and 4 computer nodes, each with 256GB of memory and 4 AMD Opteron 6376 Series processors. Each processor has 16 cores for a cluster total of 256 calculation cores The GPU computer has 8 Nvidia Tesla M2090 compute modules for a total of 4092 CUDA cores available for parallel processing.  All computers are tied to the AHS local area network (lan) with gigabit ethernet for sharing of resources. Both clusters are currently setup to run EGSnrc, BEAMnrc and Penelope simulations. 
    The computation resources are maintained by a staff of two department IT personel.
  • The Medical Physics Department has a capable staff of Technical Equipment Officers (TEOs) in the Technology Management Group (TMG) that manage the service life of most electrical and electronic equipment at the CCI. This group is divided up into two specialties, one group services the treatment equipment such as the linear accelerator and Tomotherapy units and the other group services diagnostic and lab equipment.

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