News | May 20, 2009

Breakthrough in Radiotherapy Combines MRI with Radiation Therapy

May 20, 2009 - Real-time image-guided radiotherapy, combining radiation treatment with non-invasive MR imaging, would leave less healthy tissue damaged and give radiation oncologists the possibility of instantly modifying the treatment dose as tumours change in size and shift, according to a new study published in issue 12 of IOP Publishing’s Physics in Medicine & Biology.

The findings of a research group from the University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands are set to “open the door to start testing MRI-guided radiation therapy in the clinic.”

The team of researchers has successfully proven that simultaneous radiation treatment and diagnostic-quality MRI is feasible. By actively shielding the radiation beam from the MRI scanner’s magnet and redesigning the treatment room set-up, which has until now been difficult to put into practice, the researchers have managed to produce high-quality, real-time MRI images, which could enable oncologists to target radiation far more accurately while it is being applied.

Working towards a clinical prototype, the research team is hoping to start the first clinical tests in a year’s time.

Source: Institute of Physics News

For more information: www.iop.org

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