Advisory: Give yourself extra time when travelling by car to Toronto General Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, or Toronto Rehab University Centre. City of Toronto construction on University Ave. may cause delays.
At UHN, we strive to deliver Compassionate Care & Caring. Learn more about the services and supports that are available to you throughout your journey.
Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians,
staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make
the most of our resources.
At the heart of everything we do at UHN are our Healthcare Professionals. Refer a patient to one of our 12 medical programs. Learn more about the resources and opportunities available for professional growth.
University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international
source for discovery, education and patient care.
Being touched by illness affects us in different ways. Many people want to give back to the community
and help others. At UHN, we welcome your contribution and offer different ways you can help so you can find one that suits you.
The Newsroom is the source for media looking for information about UHN or trying to connect with one
of our experts for an interview. It's also the place to find UHN media policies and catch up on our news stories, videos, media releases,
podcasts and more.
Cone Beam CT ushering in new generation of image-guided radiation cancer therapy
Toronto (Oct. 23, 2003) - A new medical imaging system that will allow unparalleled precision for radiation treatment has been tested for the first time with a patient in Canada.
The imaging system, one of only four in the world, is called Cone Beam CT, and it is being pioneered at Princess Margaret Hospital. The breakthrough imaging technology is integrated with a radiation treatment machine to allow precision targeting of the cancer tumor.
The technology gets its name from the cone-shaped beam of x-rays used to collect a complete image. Conventional CT's (computed tomography) take a series of thin-sliced x-ray images, which are then stacked together like pancakes to produce a complete picture.
Cone Beam CT produces a more sophisticated image that requires less time and less x-ray exposure. The images are rapidly reconstructed into a 3D picture using a computer program called Sherpa - named after the famed mountain guides of the Himalayas.
"The images from our first test are striking," said Dr. David Jaffray, developer of Cone Beam CT, head of Radiation Physics at Princess Margaret Hospital, holds the Fidani Chair in Radiation Therapy Physics at PMH, and is Associate Professor at University of Toronto. "This technology offers a range of new possibilities even beyond high precision radiation therapy, to other applications such as real-time imaging for surgery."
A key aspect to using the new technology is its integration into the radiation treatment process. This will allow greater precision because the patient is imaged in the treatment position, just before actual treatment, thus allowing the treatment plan to be adjusted to for any shift of internal organs. That greater precision will translate into less side effects for the patient, and potentially reduce the number of treatment doses required.
The system is currently only approved by Health Canada for research purposes, but officials hope to soon begin combining the imaging with delivery of radiation treatment at the hospital.
"The results from initial testing are very promising and we are confident this new technology will soon allow us to make image-guided radiation therapy a reality," said Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, head of the Radiation Medicine Program at Princess Margaret Hospital.
The Cone Beam CT was developed while Dr. Jaffray and his team worked at William Beaumont Hospital in Michigan. Last year, Dr. Jaffray and many in his team established the Image Guided Therapy Group at Princess Margaret Hospital, now one of four institutions in the world conducting research using Cone Beam CT and a radiation treatment machine (the others are in Michigan; the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands). The research work has lead to the development of Elekta's Synergy™ system, which combines Cone Beam CT with Elekta's digital linear accelerator used in radiotherapy.
Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm, Ontario Cancer Institute, have achieved an international reputation as global leaders in the fight against cancer. Princess Margaret Hospital is a member of the University Health Network, which also includes Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. All three are teaching hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto.
Phone: 416 340 4636