MRI Guided Imaging Radiotherapy Lab

MRI-guided imaging radiotherapy planning (MRgRT) has attractive advantages over CT for its potential to deliver more personalized treatment. First, MRI has superior visualization of soft tissue anatomy for more accurate definition of target volumes and organs at risk (OARs). Second, emerging novel devices such as MR-Linear accelerators (MRL) create an opportunity to use MRI rather than CT as a tool for online target and OAR visualization and for adaptive re-planning during treatment course. Third, functional MRI sequences may leverage tissue-specific contrast agents, as well as uncover biomarkers that may predict treatment outcomes.

Ali Fatemi, PhD, MCCPM

Director of Physics, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and Radiology

Director of MRI Guided Imaging Radiotherapy lab

University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC)

Founder & CEO, SpinTecx.LLC

2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39216-4505

E mail:

Tel: (601)-345-0135

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Dr. Ali Fatemi is the Board Certified Therapeutic and MRI Medical Physicist and Director of Physics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). Dr. Ali Fatemi also Founder and CEO of SpinTecx.LLC company offers subspecialized clinical radiotherapy and imaging physics consulting. He is a chair of AAPM Task group 117, " Use of MRI Data in Treatment Planning and Stereotactic Procedures - Spatial Accuracy and Quality Control Procedures".

His team working on optimizing MRI imaging for Radiotherapy in collaboration with both departments of Radiology and of Radiation Oncology. They proposed the quality assurance (QA) program for the MRI machine intended for radiation treatment planning, evaluated the geometrical and dosimetric accuracy of geometrically corrected anatomical MRI images for radiation treatment planning, evaluated the geometrical and dosimetric accuracy of synthetic CT images (derived directly from MRI images) for radiotherapy (including inhomogeneity correction), evaluated the accuracy and clinical feasibility of different candidate algorithms to generate Synthetic CT images, and finally, considered the use of functional MRI images in the process of radiotherapy treatment planning and post-tumor evaluation.

In collaboration with Dr. Mark Haacke, one of the pioneers in the field of MRI vascular imaging, his team developing for the first time a method to assess MRI tumor vascularity and use multiparametric quantitative imaging for planning and assessment in Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS): Using 3D contrast-enhanced (CE) Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA), Diffusion and Strategically Acquired Gradient Echo Imaging (STAGE) Imaging. Also, they investigate the applicability of multiparametric response mapping using radiomics and texture analysis for post tumor evaluation for liver, head and neck, and brain tumors.

Facility and Resources

The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) is the only academic medical center in the state of Mississippi with 4 hospitals, 2,900 students, 600 residents and fellows, and 1000 staff physicians. The adult hospital has 722 beds and has 28,000 annual inpatient admissions. The UMMC Cancer Institute is dedicated to providing world-class care that involves research, clinical trials, drug development and outpatient treatment.

The Department of Radiology has 35 full-time equivalent clinical staff, with the majority of radiologists focusing on cancer imaging. The Department of Radiology at UMMC has 7 clinical CT scanners (4 Siemens and 3 GE) and 7 MRI Scanners (3T Skyra and 1.5T Siemens, Espree, Avanto, Aera) and finally the state of Art MAGNETOM AERA RT Pro edition . The UMMC Radiology IT support core team is available to assist with image transfer and storage issues.

The Department of Radiation Oncology strives to provide compassionate, state-of-the-art radiation treatment to cancer patients while continuing to teach the next generation of caregivers and find ever better ways to provide treatment. It is integral part of the Cancer Institute at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Our staff work in two locations, using state-of-the-art technology (5 Linancs, HDR and Gamma knife) and treatment methods (SRS, SBRT, IMRT, VMAT, TBI, and HDR brachytherapy) to provide care for adult and paediatric patients.

MR Guided Imaging Radiotherapy Lab is measures 300 square feet and contains 5 cubicle desks, each with desktop personal computers and monitors (three with dual monitors). These core facilities are where full-time research fellows (x3) work. Students and residents participating in research also utilize this area. The advance imaging core lab also do have an access to fully equipped and state of art wet lab and machine shop on physiology lab to make phantoms and chemicals..

Research Grants

1. UMMC Intramural Research (IRSP) grant, “MR QA procedure for patient-specific distortion correction”

2. UMMC Neuro Institute pilot research grant, “MRI-based Radiation Treatment Planning (MRgRTP)”

3. UMMC Intramural Funding Support Program (IRSP), "MRI guided radiotherapy"

4. Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation, “Automated clinical workflow for adaptive head&neck cancer radiotherapy using generalized parametric mapping”

5. Mississippi Center for Clinical and Translational Research (MCCTP), "MRI guided Stereotactic Radiosurgury (SRS)"

6. NIH R01, “ Application of Strategically acquired gradient echo (STAGE) imaging for Intracranial Radiotherapy Planning”

7. NIH R21, “A Multisource Adaptive Magnetic Resonance Image Fusion Technique for Versatile Contrast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (STAGR Imaging)”