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MR-integrated Radiation Therapy Training Program

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Program at a Glance

This comprehensive post-graduate training program offered by the University of Toronto, Department of Radiation Oncology in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, will provide learners the opportunity to learn from international, interprofessional experts about the foundations and principles of MRI and directly apply those learnings into radiation therapy practice.

Dates and Registration 

Program to launch in 2022. Join MRiRT email list to receive most up-to-date information straight to your inbox!

Target Group 

MRiRT Training Program is designed for Radiation Therapists at all stages of their careers. 

Program Length

31-week competency-based program

  • Didactic: 25 weeks, part-time
  • Clinical: 6 weeks, full-time

Delivery Method

  • Didactic: Online (synchronous and asynchronous learning, 3-6 hours per week)
  • Clinical: In person (37.5 hours per week)

Language

English

Application Deadline

TBA Winter 2022

Learning Objectives

  • Integrate safe work MRI principles and procedures into RT practice
  • Recognize and respond to MR safety hazards
  • Integrate safe screening principles and procedures into RT practice
  • Manage a variety of treatment, imaging and hybrid imaging radiotherapy systems
  • Integrate MR clinical principles into RT practice by applying knowledge of MRI cross-sectional/relational anatomy
  • Analyze MR image and data quality and respond
  • Manage imaging strategies for individual radiation therapy care plans
  • Design optimal real-time radiation therapy plans
  • Deliver prescribed MR-guided radiation therapy plan of the day

How is the MRiRT program curriculum structured?

The MRiRT Training Program is a comprehensive, learner-centred, multi-faceted curriculum designed for learners to acquire the confidence and competence to integrate MR-technology into their respective centres.

The program is structured around the various learning needs of the participants. The majority of the program will be offered online. The online phase of the program will use both synchronous and asynchronous activities. Through a combination of readings, live and recorded lectures, live facilitated discussion and group work, and online simulated practical exercises using the program’s case bank, the learners will garner the knowledge and skills to safely employ MR in the radiation therapy context.

Additional skills and judgment will be acquired during the final 6-week practicum as the learner applies their new knowledge in the clinical environment through a series of immersive experiences in a diagnostic imaging department, and in a radiation therapy department on both the MRSIM and the MRL units. 

MR Image Formation & Interpretation (12 weeks)

The objective of this course is to introduce learners to the foundational components of MRI. In this course, learners will learn the fundamentals of MRI physics, equipment and instrumentation as it relates to radiation therapy practice. Topics covered include theory and application of MR physics for image formation, reconstruction and manipulation, instrumentation (both MRI simulators and MR-Linacs), concepts of quality assurance and quality control.

MRI Patient Care & Safety (3 weeks)

The objective of this course is to introduce the learner to the fundamentals of MRI safety principles and patient care within a radiation therapy environment. In this course, learners will learn the importance of taking a leading role in education of self and others on the prevention of MRI incidents, safety considerations of radiation therapy equipment within an MRI environment, and the unique risks of all individuals entering an MRI environment. Emphasis will be placed on MRI safety practices and guidelines, with a focus on communication and care of patients before, during and after MRI procedures within the RT environment.

MRI for Central Nervous System & Head & Neck (3 weeks)

The objective of this course is to introduce the learner to the fundamental principles of anatomy, physiology, pathology, and methodology as it relates to CNS and H&N cancers across the RT care pathway (simulation, treatment planning, and treatment delivery). 

MRI for Thorax (1 week)

The objective of this course is to introduce the learner to the fundamental principles of anatomy, physiology, pathology, and methodology as it relates to cancers within the thorax across the radiation therapy care pathway (simulation, treatment planning, and treatment delivery). 

MRI for Abdomen (3 weeks)

The objective of this course is to introduce the learner to the fundamental principles of anatomy, physiology, pathology, and methodology as it relates to cancers within the abdomen across the radiation therapy care pathway (simulation, treatment planning, and treatment delivery). 

MRI for Male & Female Pelvis (3 weeks)

The objective of this course is to introduce the learner to the fundamental principles of anatomy, physiology, pathology, and methodology as it relates to cancers within the pelvis across the radiation therapy care pathway (simulation, treatment planning, and treatment delivery). 

Clinical Placement (6 weeks)

This course is designed to provide learners with a wide variety of experiences that encourage the integration and application of their didactic knowledge in the clinical setting. The placement will be divided into three rotations over 6 weeks, this includes:

  • Rotation 1: Diagnostic/ Medical Imaging Department – MRI (2 weeks)
  • Rotation 2: Radiation Therapy Department – MR Simulation (3 weeks)
  • Rotation 3: Radiation Therapy Department – MR-Linac (1 week)

The learner will perform a variety of MRI procedures within a RT environment to develop competence in MRI as outlined in the Clinical Education Manual.

E-learning modules – to be completed during Clinical Placement

  • MR-guided Brachytherapy for Gynaecological Cancers
  • MR-guided adaptive radiotherapy for Lymph node

Relevant reference resources are provided to augment online learning to allow the learner to customize the depth and breadth of the learning experience to suit individual learning needs. Periodic assessment throughout the Program will permit the learner to test their learning and identify areas for further exploration.

Why study MR-integrated Radiation Therapy at the University of Toronto (UTDRO)?

1. Clinical education is unique to the UTDRO MRiRT Training Program.

Clinical education is a critical component to ensure our learners are setup for success at their respective centres. Our affiliated clinical sites are integral to our education and allow our learners to work closely with MRI Technologists, Radiation Therapists and Radiation Therapists dual-trained in MRI at the academic teaching sites who are at the cutting edge and well positioned to support our learners to integrate their knowledge and skills into practice during the hands-on clinical phase of our training program.

2. Part-time program designed with experienced, working RTTs in mind.

All didactic courses are offered online, which allows learners to continue to work in their current roles for the majority of the program. Clinical placements have been maximized to 6 weeks to avoid the need for extended leaves of absences allowing high-volume, high-throughput RT departments to maintain appropriate staffing levels while advancing their team to safely and effectively integrate MRI in RT practice.

3. UTDRO is an internationally recognized leader in its educational programs and professional development offerings.

With over 100 graduates each year and several hundred attendees at its continuing education offerings per annum creating a broad, global alumni base. It spans the Greater Toronto Area with two academic centres and four community hospitals, a faculty complement of almost 200 and delivers treatment to a substantial number of patients. For over 7 years the two academic centres, Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre (OCC) and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PMCC), have been at the forefront in the development, clinical implementation, and evaluation of MRGRT globally.

4. UTDRO is a leader in the integration and advancement of the RTTs within its faculty and beyond.

UTDRO enables RTTs to lead and drive the MRiRT Training Program. It also has a strong relationship with its Diagnostic Imaging colleagues due to the joint Medical Radiation Sciences program and historical department partnerships. These relationships and expertise set UTDRO apart from other university departments in offering advanced training in MRI for RT practice. 

FAQ

How do Radiation Therapists utilize MRI in practice?

Due to its superior soft-tissue contrast, the integration of MRI across the RT care pathway has increased dramatically over the last decade. Even in centres without a dedicated MRSIM, MRI has taken on an important role in treatment planning for target and organ at risk delineation for a wide variety of disease sites including brain, head and neck, gynecological, urological and gastrointestinal malignancies.

To capitalize on the benefits that MRI brings to radiation planning, RTTs must possess an understanding of MRI cross sectional anatomy, image interpretation and the principles of image registration. For RT departments that have dedicated MRSIMs, it is desirable to have RTTs trained, not only in the MRI safety requirements, but also in the operation of the MRI scanner to maximize the usability of images for treatment planning through careful consideration of patient positioning and imaging parameters.

With the development of MR-Linacs and MR-guided Brachytherapy suites, MRI is now being incorporated as an image guidance modality for treatment delivery with the added benefit of online adaptation with motion-monitoring capabilities. This technological advancement requires RTTs to harness their understanding and skills from operating MRSIMs and combine with sophisticated RT planning knowledge to safely deliver real-time, MR-guided, adaptive radiotherapy to all cancer patients.

What credentials will learners be eligible for?

Advanced Certificate of Completion from the Continuing Professional Development Office in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. Continuing education credits will be available through:

  • CAMRT (number of credits pending)
  • RCPSC (number of credits pending)
  • CFPC (number of credits pending)

 

What are the admission requirements? 

Details to follow. Get updates delivered to your email inbox by joining MRiRT email list:

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Who do I reach out to for questions?

Please email the MRiRT Training Program at mriforrtts@utoronto.ca 

The MRiRT Training Program is organized by:

MRiRT Training Program logo

MR-integrated Radiation Therapy (MRiRT) Training Program

UTDRO logo

Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Toronto