Radiation therapy using linear particle accelerators can be a bit a hit or miss process, since imaging of tumors and the therapy are done separately. A new system being installed at University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands aims to bring together magnetic resonance imaging and a linear accelerator.
Philips is supplying a 1.5 T MRI that will work with an Elekta linear accelerator. The project is actually led by a consortium of Dutch, American, and Canadian clinical centers.
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In the coming months, additional components will be integrated and the system will undergo a program of non-clinical testing, which includes the performance evaluation of MRI sequences, testing of different adaptive delivery methods, establishing quality assurance techniques and defining workflow.
“Since formation of the consortium in 2012, members have been exploring the feasibility of high-field MRI-guided radiotherapy. Installation of the first generation system is truly a major step toward moving this technology into the clinic to benefit patients,” says Bas Raaymakers, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Radiotherapy, UMC Utrecht. “We’re immensely proud of the critical role that UMC Utrecht has played in collaboration with Philips and Elekta in this project for over 10 years.”
“As the founding member of the consortium, UMC Utrecht has been instrumental in turning the concept of MRI guided radiation therapy into a working system, and has invested a great deal of effort and resources to make it a reality,” adds Tomas Puusepp, President and CEO, Elekta. “We are excited about the prospect of taking high-field MRI-guided radiation therapy to the next stage.”
“Highly targeted treatments will be essential in the battle to control cancer, so together with our partners we are stepping up our efforts to create new solutions in interventional oncology,” says Gene Saragnese, CEO Imaging Systems at Philips Healthcare. “The installation of the first generation MR-guided radiation system at UMC Utrecht is an important milestone in the development of an innovation that is designed to make a real difference in cancer care.”
In addition to UMC Utrecht, the other consortium members are: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, Texas), The Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (Toronto, Ontario) and The Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center (Milwaukee, Wisconsin).