Image Guided Adaptive Radiotherapy (IGAR)

Cross Cancer Institute

Program Overview

Principal Investigator: B. Gino Fallone

The main goal of the research program entitled "Image-guided adaptive radiotherapy" (IGAR) is to achieve the maximum curing potential by precisely delivering a radiation dose distribution that is "sculpted" to the anatomical and biological extent of the tumor while delivering minimal dose to healthy tissue to reduce side effects.

The IGAR program incorporates one of the world's first MR guided Linac systems, a very-high field (3T) whole body MR Imaging and Spectroscopy System for human studies, an animal 9.4T MR Imaging and Spectroscopy System, an image-fusion laboratory, and the computer laboratories. The MR systems provide the anatomical, functional, metabolic and biochemical information to identify diseases at an earlier stage, and monitor treatment response immediately after and at intervals after treatment. The resultant information is integrated with PET images within our image fusion laboratories to design advanced adaptive radiation therapy delivered by the experimental TomoTherapy system.

The IGAR program has four (4) specific pillars:

  1. IGAR Clinical Trials with individual investigators as approved by the Ethics Board. Mainly used by Radiation Oncology and Medical Physics but open to all other departments at the CCI ( Cancer Imaging, Experimental Oncology, Medical Oncology). If appropriate, user fees will be charged to investigators, especially if the investigator has research funds, in order to help support operating costs. The activities are monitored by an independent IGAR Safety Monitoring Board.

    IGAR Facility Hourly Rate
    (Fee for Service
    Hourly Rate (with
    Medical Physics Collaboration)
    3T MR, 9.4T MR $375 $170

  2. MR-animal imaging studies.
  3. Hardware and software technological development - Development of radiation detectors, MR RF coils, and image-fusion/processing/analyses software, radiobiological software, treatment planning software.
  4. Real-time IGAR or "Advanced Real Time Adaptive RadioTherapy" (ART)2 - Development of a unique MR-linac system owned by the Alberta Cancer Board. More information on this project is available at the Linac-MR website.

The IGAR facilities are unique in the world, and allow the delivery of advanced adaptive radiation treatments, offer functional and metabolic information of cancer, and quantify cancer processes, and make the Cross Cancer Institute the most advanced center in the world for cancer molecular imaging and adaptive radiation therapy.

The IGAR infrastructure is supported by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) , the Alberta Science and Research Investments Program (ASRIP) and the Alberta Cancer Foundation (ACF).

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