The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) have unveiled a groundbreaking piece of technology that will revolutionize cancer treatment.
The MR Linac (Elekta Unity) is a system that can simultaneously scan the body for tumors and also deliver targeted radiation treatment more effectively. It has a special design that allows the magnetic coils of the MRI to work alongside the linear accelerator’s X-ray beams and not interfere with each other.
In a press release, Alison Tree, MD, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden and Team Leader at ICR revealed that “Tumor shape and position relative to healthy tissue evolves over the course of treatment and can change during an individual treatment session. The ability to detect those changes and adapt therapy in real time allows us to improve the precision of radiation therapy, more effectively treating the tumor while preserving healthy tissue”.
Barry Dolling, age 65, suffering from prostate cancer, was the first patient treated with this transformative magnetic resonance radiation therapy (MR/RT). Doctors are excited about the all the potential applications and are working closely with the Elekta company in order to offer the treatment to as many forms of cancer as possible.
Dr. Tree added that “Elekta Unity will also allow us to offer radiation therapy to patients who would not be candidates for this approach using more traditional radiation delivery systems. Elekta Unity will help us achieve optimum outcomes for our patients”.
The imaging and precision radiation therapy unit received CE marking only a few months back, but many leading cancer centers throughout Europe are already looking at investing in the system.