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First patient in Canada treated on MR-Linac - Elekta Unity

August 15, 2019

MR Linac and team Elekta Unity MR Linac

Today, members of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s radiation team treated the first patient in Canada on the new MR-Linac — the Elekta Unity.

This technology is the first machine in the world to combine radiation and high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and will let doctors at the Odette Cancer Centre target tumours and monitor their response to radiation with unprecedented precision — even as a tumour moves inside the body — thanks to the machine's real-time MRI guidance.

Today, the team watched on MRI as a beam of radiation hit a glioblastoma. Seeing the radiation hit the target means the team can ensure exceptional precision, spare healthy tissue, and adjust the radiation target if needed.

As a founding member of the Elekta MR-Linac consortium and the first Canadian centre to install an MR-Linac, Sunnybrook's team made significant contributions to the development and implementation of this technology beginning with a clinical trial. The team will remain at the forefront of cancer care, and an invaluable source of expertise and teaching for cancer ablation specialists across the country.