GenesisCare has launched the Brainlab Mixed Reality Viewer at its Oxford centre for diagnostics, oncology and wellbeing, offering cancer patients a novel way to visualise their treatment.

The technology is being rolled out as part of a £20m investment from GenesisCare, alongside a number of other state-of-the-art cancer treatments, including stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

The Mixed Reality Viewer allows clinicians and patients to see, interpret and interact with a patient’s medical data in realistic 3D visualisations, as if they were objects in the real world. The technology is intended to allow patients to be more involved in their care and better understand the impact of their cancer treatment plan.

The viewer also allows groups of clinicians to collaborate on different cases and treatment decisions as a multidisciplinary team, allowing insights to be shared more easily.

GenesisCare consultant neurosurgeon Puneet Plaha said: “The Mixed Reality Viewer is a truly remarkable piece of equipment – freeing patient scans from a 2D screen and bringing them to life in a room for patients to see.

“Ultimately, this allows us to make tailored treatment decisions alongside patients, empowering them in a way which was previously not possible.”

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The Mixed Reality Viewer will be used in conjunction with SRS, an advanced radiotherapy technique that precisely delivers multiple beams of radiation to a tumour in one single treatment session. SRS reduces the number of treatments required in comparison with standard radiotherapy, and helps to preserve healthy tissue.

The £20m investment is also covering the expansion of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) throughout the Oxford practice. fMRI is an advanced imaging technique that highlights the areas of the brain that are responsible for vital functions such as speaking and movement. This helps clinicians predict and limit the side effects of treatment.

Plaha said: “Preparing for brain surgery has taken on an entirely new dimension with viewing in mixed reality, allowing patients to walk into a unique, fascinating virtual 3D world of the human body [and] brain and see their critical structures and surrounding nerve connections. It provides them with an excellent understanding of their symptoms and importantly what surgery would involve and the effects it might have on their cancer.”