Elekta and Royal Philips have installed a high-field (1.5 Tesla) MR-guided linear accelerator (MR-linac) system, which captures high-quality images of tumours and surrounding tissues, at The Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI).
MR-linac features the radiotherapy system and a high-field MRI scanner with advanced software that allows a clear and a real-time vision of a patient's anatomy.
It facilitates an improved targeting of tumour tissue while ensuring a minimal exposure of normal tissue to radiation beams.
The technology enables physicians to precisely locate a tumour, and lock onto it during delivery, even when tumour tissue is mobile during treatment or changes shape, location or size between treatment sessions.
The Netherlands Cancer Institute department of radiation oncology medical physicist and group leader Professor Uulke van der Heide said: "The ability to actually see that we are delivering the correct radiation dose to the intended target has the potential to reduce side effects and improve quality of life, allow for escalated dose delivery and ultimately increase our ability to control tumours."
The Netherlands Cancer Institute is a member of the Elekta MR-linac Consortium, founded in 2012 by Elekta and technology partner Royal Philips. It is currently the third site to install the MR-linac system.
Philips imaging businesses CEO Rob Cascella said: "In securing that quality and accuracy, MR imaging is emerging as a promising oncology tool for disease localisation and quantification, therapy planning, treatment guidance, and therapy assessment.
"Through the collaboration with Elekta and the consortium partners such as The NKI, I am convinced that we have the prerequisites to make MR-guided radiotherapy a meaningful success for both patients and care providers."
MR-linac system is under functional evaluation at University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, the US.
By the end of this year, all seven cancer centres taking part in the consortium will have the Elekta MR-linac system installed.