10:07 AM

Mohawk and McMaster to unveil new radiation therapy simulator at IAHS today

Mohawk McMaster Collaborative Medical Radiation Sciences program Medical Radiation Sciences students practice delivering radiation therapy treatments on the Varian Acuity Simulator at the Mohawk-McMaster Institute of Applied Health Sciences.

HAMILTON (Nov. 21, 2012) – More than 140 medical radiation sciences students will get real-world, hands-on learning on a new medical radiation therapy simulator that officially opens today at the Mohawk-McMaster Institute for Applied Health Sciences.

The Varian Acuity Simulator was recently purchased for students in the collaborative Mohawk-McMaster Medical Radiation Sciences Program at the Institute of Applied Health Sciences at McMaster University. Varian supplied and installed the machine for a third of its $1.2 million cost.

For students learning to plan and deliver radiation therapy treatments the Varian Acuity Simulator is as close as they can possibly get to the real thing. The only thing the simulator doesn’t do is deliver the dose of radiation needed to kill cancer cells.

Before the simulator arrived, students would attend labs and practice setting up treatments using a Radiation Therapy machine at the Juravinski Cancer Centre. The simulator gives the program more flexibility while providing hands-on experience with technology similar to that used by cancer clinics today.


Mohawk Quote:

“Mohawk and McMaster have a unique relationship that has benefited thousands of students,” said Mohawk College President Rob MacIsaac. “The Varian Acuity Simulator is another example of how this partnership is building a successful future for our students. We are also grateful to Varian for providing the simulator at a significantly reduced price. We see this as both an investment in our program and vote of confidence in what we do here at the Institute.”

McMaster Quote:

“This advanced medical training technology is a direct result of a strong partnership between McMaster and Mohawk,” says McMaster President and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane. “The Varian Acuity Simulator bolsters the Mohawk-McMaster Medical Radiation Sciences Program, and represents another way we provide world-class experiential learning opportunities to students.”


  • The Varian Acuity Simulator has mechanical capabilities similar to the Varian Radiation Therapy machines used in operating cancer clinics throughout Ontario.

  • In addition to the Varian Acuity Simulator, the Medical Radiation Sciences Simulation Labs also have sonography and radiography labs, a radiation therapy treatment planning lab and a CT Scanner.

  • All of the labs associated with the collaborative Medical Radiation Sciences program are designed to mimic the clinical environment.

  • Students enrolled in Medical Radiation Sciences choose one of three streams: sonography, radiography and radiation therapy.

  • The collaborative Mohawk-McMaster Medical Radiation Sciences Program is accredited by the Canadian Medical Association.

Mohawk College serves 15,000 full-time and apprenticeship students and 42,000 continuing education registrants annually. In the annual province-wide survey of college students, Mohawk was ranked number one of Ontario’s large colleges in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

McMaster University, one of four Canadian universities listed among the Top 100 universities in the world, is renowned for its innovation in both learning and discovery. It has a student population of 23,000, and more than 156,000 alumni in 140 countries.