The initial components of the world’s first high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guided radiation therapy system are being installed at the University Medical Center (UMC) in Utrecht, The Netherlands. This is the first step toward the development of a clinical system capable of capturing highly detailed MR images of tumors and surrounding normal tissues as a patient receives radiotherapy. Development of the high-field MRI-guided linear accelerator is the mission of the MR Linac Research Consortium headed by the Swedish company Elekta and supported by Philips.
The integration of an advanced Philips 1.5 Tesla MRI system with a sophisticated Elekta radiation therapy system – enabling simultaneous imaging during beam delivery – should help adaptation of radiation therapy during the procedure, increasing treatment accuracy, potentially reducing side effects and enabling increases in the therapeutic dose.
“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 Dr Bas Raaymakers, 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.
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 Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center (Milwaukee, Wisconsin).
Eindhoven, The Netherlands