The Christie was an essential partner for Elekta in the development and use of cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) image guidance at the time of treatment to improve the delivery of radiotherapy, and has significant experience and expertise that will help realize the potential of MR-linac and, in the future, enable adaptive radiotherapy. It joined Elekta’s MR-linac research consortium in 2014. The consortium, a global collaboration of institutions focused on uniting leaders in radiation oncology, MR imaging and physics, has a mission to demonstrate that MR-linac technology can lead to improved patient outcomes for existing radiation therapy indications and extend radiation therapy for additional indications.
“The Christie has a history of innovation in the use of advanced imaging technologies to improve the delivery of radiotherapy,” said Dr. Ananya Choudhury, Consultant and Honorary Reader, Clinical Oncology at The Christie “Our team has a number of visionary leaders in medical physics, MR imaging, radiotherapy and clinical oncology. We are really excited to be part of this global effort to bring the potential of MR-linac to The Christie and improve outcomes for our patients.”
Professor Corinne Faivre-Finn, Honorary Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Professor of Thoracic Radiation Oncology, is Tumor Site Group lead for lung cancer in Elekta’s Global Research Consortium. She added: “The vision is that MR-adapted radiotherapy will allow individualized and intensified treatment of patients with lung cancer, leading to improved local control and survival with no increase in toxicity. Currently, MR imaging is not used routinely for radiotherapy planning in lung cancer. Therefore, ongoing research is focusing on MR sequences that can be used for radiotherapy planning and the evaluation of radiotherapy plans in the presence of a magnet. The group is developing clinical studies in a number of patient groups who currently have a poor outcome after radiotherapy treatment. Although The Christie will be leading on lung cancer research within the Elekta consortium, we anticipate that MR-linac will be used to treat patients with a wide range of cancers.”
Elekta and its global collaborators overcame significant engineering hurdles to demonstrate the feasibility of the MR-linac technology. Previously, experts in the field thought it nearly impossible to combine MRI and linear accelerator devices because the powerful magnets used in MRI could interfere with radiation beams.
“We are excited to initiate the installation of our sixth MR-linac system, and are on track to complete installation at all seven consortium sites,” said Kevin Brown, Elekta’s Global Vice President of Scientific Research. “Radiation therapy is a critical component of lung cancer treatment, and we believe that MR-linac will enable more effective delivery of radiation to lung tumors while sparing healthy lung tissue and other nearby organs. Our global consortium is exceptionally positioned to generate the data and protocols that will support the use of MR-linac in lung cancer and other cancer indications.”
“As a leader in digital MRI technologies and image-guided therapy solutions, we have been working hard with Elekta and consortium partners such as The Christie to meet a set of ambitious milestones,” said Rob Cascella, CEO of the Diagnosis and Treatment businesses at Royal Philips. “With excellent progress in the MR-linac installations and validation of the technology, plus a global increase in the use of MRI for radiotherapy planning, our journey to make a positive difference in cancer care is gaining great momentum.”
Elekta’s MR-linac is a work in progress and not available for sale or distribution.