Tumour targeter best in world

LIVERPOOL'S home of health innovation, the Ingham Institute, is one step closer to being the proud owner of Australia's first MRI-Linac machine to treat cancer.

The machine is one of only three research facilities under development in the world capable of accurate, real-time radiation treatment.

On Monday, local and international researchers gathered at the detached MRI bunker on Bigge Street, Liverpool, to take part in the first official tour of the site.

The new high-tech facility is contained by concrete walls up to 1.5 metres thick and a 19-tonne steel door.

The MRI-Linac will accurately track tumours during a radiation therapy, greatly improving the outcomes of cancer treatment.

Ingham Institute's MRI-Linac research program leader, Professor Paul Keall, said evidenced-based cancer research would be made possible through the program.

"Current radiation treatments don't take into account changes that can occur to the location and shape of tumours caused by breathing, swallowing and other normal body changes," he said.

"The MRI-Linac will enable us to target the tumour with the radiation beam much more accurately in real-time, and with greater control over the radiation dose."

The program has received a $5.7 million grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council in addition to the initial $7.5 million in capital funding.

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