ASG Superconductors with HZDR Integrates Magnetic Resonance Imaging with Proton Therapy

ASG Superconductors with HZDR Integrates Magnetic Resonance Imaging with Proton Therapy

Because of the finite penetration depth of protons, proton therapy is a new radiation technique that can irradiate tumors while sparing surrounding tissue better than traditional X-ray-based radiation.

FREMONT, CA: ASG Superconductors with Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) is expected to build the world's first prototype that tracks moving tumors with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in real time during proton therapy that requires combining a rotating open MRI device for the LINAC-MR system Alberta Health Services with an actively scanned clinical-akin proton beam at OncoRay, the Dresden-based National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology. ASG Superconductors manufactures the rotating MRI rig, which employs the MROpen Evo technology-based helium-free superconducting MgB2 magnet. Real-time MRI will enable the proton beam to be synchronized to tumor motion during radiation dose delivery. This has previously been unlikely, and as a result has been a limiting factor in treating moving tumors with this promising cancer treatment.

Because of the finite penetration depth of protons, proton therapy is a new radiation technique that can irradiate tumors while sparing surrounding tissue better than traditional X-ray-based radiation. However, tumor motion, structural changes during surgery, and inaccuracies in patient positioning restrict the efficacy of proton therapy.

ASG Superconductors is now manufacturing a mid-field-strength open 0.5 Tesla MRI system that has been specifically tailored to the needs of the Alberta Health Services LINAC-MR group and its spin-off company MagnetTx Oncology Solutions for real-time MRI-guided radiation therapy. MagnetTx Oncology Solutions is designing the gantry needed to rotate the MRI scanner, as well as image processing methods for monitoring the tumor in real time. The entire 30-ton system is currently being designed and manufactured.The team intends to integrate it into the OncoRayfacility's continuously scanned, clinical-akin experimental proton beamline in summer 2022.

"It is very exciting for ASG Superconductors to be part of this project in collaboration with HZDR and MagnetTx," stated Marco Belardinelli ASG Paramed MRI Unit Director and adds, "seeing our MRI and MgB2 superconducting technology used as a key component in new and innovative applications such as this one, which will ultimately benefit the patients and the medical community, makes us proud and even more confident we are moving in the right direction."