Inspiring Health
Transforming Care


MRI has a number of advantages for the simulation of treatment plans, over the current gold standard of CT. Its excellent and variable soft-tissue contrast has been shown to improve the delineation accuracy of both the tumour and surrounding organs-at-risk; a range of functional techniques are able to measure and display tumour physiology in the same examination, potentially revealing sub-regions that could receive a boost in radiation dose; and the absence of ionising radiation means the patient may be scanned any number of times before, during and after treatment, giving the clinician the ability to assess and adapt plans on an individual basis.In August 2013, as part of a wider investment in MRI, which will also see the Australian MR-Linac program on site, a dedicated MR-Sim was installed at Liverpool Cancer Therapy Centre (LCTC) for the exclusive use of radiotherapy patients to provide MR-based treatment simulation scans. The installation of a dedicated scanner in our department has been a great success and crucial in propelling MRI into our practice, with numerous projects currently underway developing MRI for image planning, treatment monitoring and guidance linked with the MR-Linac.

Figure 1.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Figure 2.
Example images acquired in a head & neck tumour patient. The top two images serve to illustrate the image quality and coverage obtained using dedicated RF coils which extends from midbrain down to sternal notch. The bottom images show a slice taken through the tumour using (left to right) DIXON T2-w in-phase, water-only and DIXON T1-W water-only post-contrast.

Figure 3.
Geometric studies looking at system and patient effects on RT planning.

Figure 4.
Ultra Short TE (UTE) studies showing improved bone visualisation and tissue segmentation.

Potential future student projects

Contact Dr Michael Jameson for information on student projects. Projects suited to highly motivated students with experience or interest in modelling x-ray detectors are available.