February 3, 2023
EDMONTON – Clinical trials are set to start at the Cross Cancer Institute, treating patients for the first time ever with an Alberta-created and built Linac-MR machine (LMR). The LMR technology provides the world’s most advanced radiation therapy for treatment of tumours.
With the capability of delivering radiation while simultaneously obtaining high-contrast and high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the LMR allows radiation oncologists to deliver more precise radiation to tumours that move during treatment, or to tumours that are close to healthy organs that need to be avoided. This more precise radiation can result in better tumour control and fewer side effects from radiation.
“Cancer directly or indirectly touches the lives of almost every Albertan. Ensuring patients and families have access to outstanding cancer care is a priority for our government. We are proud to have technology in our province built by those on our frontline,” says Jason Copping, Minister of Health.
The LMR is a unique, Alberta created and built technology, jointly developed by Medical Physics staff and researchers at the Cross Cancer Institute and at the University of Alberta (U of A) under Dr. Gino Fallone, Professor and Director, Medical Physics at CCI and U of A, and team. Funding was provided by Alberta Cancer Foundation and through the CCI ‘We Cross Cancer’ fundraising campaign, Alberta Innovates, Western Economic Diversification (Canada), now called PrairiesCan, and Canadian Institutes of Health Research, as well as direct and in-kind investments by Cancer Care Alberta (CCA).
“Alberta continues to be a place where advanced research and innovation allows us to provide high-quality care to our patients,” says AHS Interim President and CEO Mauro Chies.
“We will continue to invest, together with our partners, to ensure that we are not only meeting current care needs but providing better more targeted therapies that can effectively treat a wider range of cancers and patients.”
“We are very excited to be able to offer cutting-edge technology for our patients. We will be able to significantly improve our ability to treat cancers with radiation more precisely by being able to see clearly where we are targeting our radiation,” says AHS clinician and researcher Dr. Nawaid Usmani. “We are particularly proud of this innovation, as the group of researchers that we are working with were the first in the world to build Linac-MR hybrid right here in Edmonton. This technology will improve treatments not only for Albertans, but for cancer patients around the world.”
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.
Linac-MR and Northern LIGHTS clinical trials, Cross Cancer Institute
Clinical Trials with the Linac-MR
The Northern LIGHTS clinical trials done with an Alberta-created Linac-MR, are a collection of seven distinct trials. The goal is to reduce treatment sessions, improve patient experience and patient outcomes, as healthy tissues will not be targeted by the radiation.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Our mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans. Our current focus is on reducing emergency department wait-times, improving EMS response times, increasing access to surgeries, and improving patient flow.