GenesisCare, the cancer treatment specialist, has launched MRIdian radiotherapy at its treatment centre in Oxford.
The technology combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques with extremely precise radiotherapy beams, enabling the clinician to visualise the exact position and shape of a patient’s tumour in real time.
This ensures the cancer is targeted with precision and control.
In contrast to conventional radiotherapy, where the same treatment plan is used every day, MRIdian enables the clinician to adapt the treatment to changes in tumour size and position, and to the changes in normal tissues that occur day-to-day.
GenesisCare said this approach can reduce the dose to normal tissues over the course of treatment, reducing side effects, and allow the clinician to give a higher dose to certain tumours than would be possible using conventional radiotherapy, potentially improving the chance of tumour eradication.
If suitable, patients will be able to visualise the movement of their tumours while inside the MRIdian.
The technology enables clinicians to treat early stage prostate cancer in days rather than weeks.
With conventional radiotherapy, patients typically require at least 20 treatments but with the MRIdian they may only need five.
Dr Philip Camilleri, clinical director of urological cancers at GenesisCare UK, said treatment on the MRIdian allows clinicians to be virtually 100% accurate, 100% of the time.
“This treatment allows us to adapt the radiation field to the daily changes in anatomy of the target and the surrounding areas, ensuring that treatment on the MRIdian is as accurate and effective as possible each and every day,” he added.
The increased accuracy means that MRIdian can be used to improve clinical outcomes for cancers in the abdomen, such as inoperable pancreatic and liver tumours once treatable only with chemotherapy.
MRIdian is particularly useful for delivering stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR), which aims to eradicate tumours in only three to five treatment sessions.