Amsterdam, the Netherlands – The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Elekta and Philips teams recently completed installation of the first high field (1.5 Tesla) MRI-guided linear accelerator in the United States. By early next year, the system will be operating in a non-clinical capacity.
The MRI-guided linear accelerator (MR linac) is designed to capture highly detailed MR images of tumors and surrounding normal tissues as a patient receives radiotherapy. These images could then be used to adapt treatment delivery, increasing the accuracy of therapy and potentially improving treatment outcome. Development of the world’s first high field MR linac is the mission of the Elekta Atlantic Research Consortium headed by Elekta (NSE:EKTAb), which is working in collaboration with MRI technology partner, Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG; AEX: PHIA).
Earlier this year, MD Anderson Cancer Center renovated an existing radiotherapy vault. On August 1, Elekta began delivering and installing the system components.
“Elekta, MD Anderson and Philips teams have worked tremendously well together to keep the installation project on schedule and with no major challenges,” said Bill Yaeger, Executive Vice President, Region North America. “The final step – ramping the MRI magnet up to its operational field strength – was recently successfully completed and we are now ready to commission the system for non-clinical testing.”
“The installation of the MR linac is going well and an example of the cooperation between MD Anderson, Elekta and Philips,” added Stephen Hahn, MD, head of MD Anderson’s Division of Radiation Oncology. “We expect to have the first non-clinical beam in January 2016. The MD Anderson Division of Radiation Oncology is excited about the opportunities that the MR linac project is targeted to provide to our patients. The possibility of soft tissue imaging combined with advanced radiation delivery in a linac could allow us to provide improved value for our patients.”
“We are proud to contribute to this ambitious project,” said Rob Cascella, CEO Imaging Business Groups at Philips. “The installation of the MRI-guided linear accelerator at MD Anderson is a great example of how we collaborate with other innovators, combining technology and clinical innovation to create solutions that will make a difference.”
Elekta and Philips completed installation of the world’s first high field MRI-guided linear accelerator at University Medical Center Utrecht (Netherlands) at the end of 2014.
The MRI-guided radiation therapy system is a works in progress and not available for sale or distribution.