SyncMRT: a solution to image-guided synchrotron radiotherapy for quality assurance and pre-clinical trials

Publication Name

Journal of Synchrotron Radiation


In this work, a new image guidance system and protocols for delivering image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) on the Imaging and Medical Beamline (IMBL) at the ANSTO Australian Synchrotron are introduced. The image guidance methods used and the resulting accuracy of tumour alignment in in vivo experiments are often under-reported. Image guidance tasks are often complex, time-consuming and prone to errors. If unchecked, they may result in potential mis-treatments. We introduce SyncMRT, a software package that provides a simple, image guidance tool-kit for aligning samples to the synchrotron beam. We have demonstrated sub-millimetre alignment using SyncMRT and the small-animal irradiation platform (the DynamicMRT system) on the IMBL. SyncMRT has become the standard for carrying out IGRT treatments on the IMBL and has been used in all pre-clinical radiotherapy experiments since 2017. Further, we introduce two quality assurance (QA) protocols to synchrotron radiotherapy on the IMBL: the Winston-Lutz test and hidden target test. It is shown that the presented QA tests are appropriate for picking up geometrical setup errors and assessing the end-to-end accuracy of the image guidance process. Together, these tools make image guidance easier and provide a mechanism for reporting the geometric accuracy of synchrotron-based IGRT treatments. Importantly, this work is scalable to other delivery systems, and is in continual development to support the upcoming veterinary radiotherapy trials on the IMBL.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access



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Funding Sponsor

Gross Foundation



Link to publisher version (DOI)