The international MR-linac Consortium has announced the launch of the Momentum study to generate data that could enable the safe, fast and evidence-based introduction of magnetic resonance radiation therapy (MR/RT) into clinical practice.

Precision radiation medicine company Elekta founded the MR-linac Consortium in 2012 with seven centres and its technology partner Philips with the aim of providing an evidence-based introduction of MR-linac technology to the medical community.

Elekta said the Momentum study is the next step in the development of the Elekta Unity MR/RT system.

The study will focus on building real-world clinical evidence and insights with the new technology. Information gained through the study will guide the use of MR/RT with the hope of improving outcomes for cancer patients.

Momentum management team member Professor Helena Verkooijen said: “Each treatment session on this innovative system is an opportunity to gain insight into the benefits that this technology provides and, critically, to determine which patients benefit from MR/RT therapy.”

The MR-linac system has been designed to address negative aspects of radiation cancer therapies that can be treatment-limiting or reduce quality of life. The system is better at targeting radiation to a tumour which reduces the exposure of nearby tissues and organs, Elekta said.

Medical College of Wisconsin assistant professor Dr William Hall said: “We believe that this kind of rigorous and coordinated approach has tremendous potential to improve patient outcomes and change radiotherapy.”

The cancer centres taking part in Momentum will be asking patients if they want to share de-identified information about their treatment and experience, including tumour control rates and quality of life. This information will be accumulated so that researchers can use it to assess outcomes, enhance the product and gauge alternative treatment approaches.

Elekta vice president of medical affairs and clinical research and Momentum management team member Dr John Christodouleas said: “The MR-linac Consortium includes some of the world’s most talented and dedicated cancer researchers. By collaborating on the MOMENTUM Study, we expect to accelerate clinical innovations enabled by this breakthrough technology.”

Elekta Unity is designed to visualise tumours with high-resolution images during treatment by combining high-field MRI technology with a linear accelerator. This method can allow the precise delivery of a radiation dose, which enables higher dosing to the tumour bed while sparing the surrounding healthy tissues.

This approach is expected to lead to better tumour control and fewer side effects, as well as prolonged disease-free survival and a better quality of life for patients.

The MR-linac technology was developed by Elekta in collaboration with the MR-linac Consortium.