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Connection key to vital treatment

Team makes cancer progress

Cancer treatment is changing and Liverpool Hospital and Ingham Institute medical specialists are at the forefront of groundbreaking technological advances.

For years a small team of medical experts have been dreaming about the day patients received even better treatment and that day is almost here after the Australian MR-Linac reached some important milestones.

The project team, one of only four in the world, is based at Liverpool Hospital. Their job is to get an MRI scanner, linac, magnet, gradient coil and radiofrequency coil communicating through software. It connects radiotherapy with MRI and is expected to revolutionise treatment.

The goal is to provide cancer patients with real-time targeted treatment.

“Until we got that first image we didn’t know if it was going to work,” Associate Professor Gary Liney said.

On February 16 they got a quality image of a sphere of water, which replicates human tissue. The next day they got a “beam on image” that let them know the software connecting the MRI scanner and linac were communicating.

“Now we’re in discussion with clinicians to determine suitable patients,” Professor Liney said.

The project’s future is guaranteed until 2022 following a $7.5 million grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Stacy Thomas, Liverpool Leader

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