Revolutionising cancer treatment with new radiotherapy primary standard

Photograph of new water calorimeter

EMRP project MRI safety (HLT06) optimises water calorimeter for use in hospital

In the field of radiotherapy, cancer patients are treated with high energy X-rays which kill cancerous cells - accurate measurement of the delivered radiation dose (dosimetry) to human tissue is indispensable.  Since 1980 water calorimetry has offered a means to measure absorbed dose to water. The creation of new radiotherapy treatments units and performance requirements led HLT06 project partner VSL to develop and validate a new water calorimeter with industrial input.

EMRP project HLT06 'Metrology for next-generation safety standards and equipment in MRI' aims to improve risk assessments for MRI scans and provide more complete and robust safety data for both patients and medical staff. In the framework of this project the calorimeter was optimised so that it could be used in a magnetic field of MRI integrated linear accelerators. The influence of the magnetic field on the temperature measurement was investigated and in November 2014 it was mechanically fitted in the bore of the MRI linac at the UMC Utrecht hospital in the Netherlands. The new water calorimeter will be fully commissioned as a primary standard for MV-photon beams and will become an internationally accepted primary standard with the potential to revolutionise cancer treatment.

Find out more about EMRP project HLT06 MRI safety

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