Facilities at UVic and VIC

Facilities for Medical Physics research exist both at the University of Victoria (UVic) and at the Vancouver Island Centre (VIC) of the BC Cancer Agency and are outlined below.

The Vancouver Island Centre moved to a new building in 2001, with virtually all new equipment. It is primarily a treatment centre, with most diagnostic services available in the adjacent Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Radiation therapy equipment

  • Four Varian 21EX linear accelerators with 6 and 18 MV X-ray and electron beams from 4 to 20 MeV
  • All accelerators have multi-leaf collimators (two with high-resolution 5mm leaves) and are capable of dynamic and intensity-modulated treatments
  • All accelerators are equipped for digital portal imaging, mostly with amorphous-Silicon flat panel units
  • GE FX-i CT scanner
  • Digital simulator
  • Varian High Dose Rate brachytherapy unit (192Ir)
  • 3D ultrasound
  • All imaging is digital, although a film processor is available for Physics use

Computational equipment

  • A Varian Eclipse treatment planning and Aria information system provides an integrated, networked environment that is linked to the other cancer centres in the BC Cancer Agency
  • Stand-alone treatment planning systems are available for research purposes
  • Cluster of many networked computers running Linux that is devoted to Monte-Carlo radiation transport calculations

Polymer gel dosimetry facilities

  • A full range of basic chemistry facilities exist for the manufacture of polymer gels

Raman spectroscopy lab

The Raman spectroscopy laboratory is assembled in the Physics and Astronomy department of the University of Victoria.

  • Coherent Frequency doubled argon ion FreD laser (229 - 264 nm)
  • Renishaw inVia Raman microscope (514, 633, 785 nm)
  • TE cooled PIXIS CCD
  • 0.75 m spectrometer, 1200 - 3600 /mm gratings
  • Fibre optic based light delivery and collection
  • Associated optics, power meter, optical table etc.

Additional notes

There is a full range of the usual medical physics equipment available at Vancouver Island Cancer Centre (VIC), including anatomical and water phantoms, film scanners and an automatic TLD reader. The physics staff consists of 8 medical physicists, with support from an experienced team of physics assistants, and electronics and mechanical workshop staff.

There is a full range of machine and electronics support available in the Physics and Astronomy Department at UVic.

In addition to projects at UVIC and VIC, students may also participate in research at the Centre for the Southern Interior (CSI) in Kelowna, BC which is also part of the British Columbia Cancer Agency (BCCA). The CSI centre is similar in size as the VIC centre and has similar research and support staff services. The centre is currently in an upgrade phase and is replacing all 4 linacs and has expanded to add a 5th. The centre is active in Prostate Brachytheraphy and has an in-house procedure room. CSI is also very active in medical imaging and breast cancer screening research. The centre is also developing a new HDR program.