Elekta’s MR-linac is the next-generation innovation for treatment of cancer patients using radiotherapy.

Dr. Fei-Fei Liu, Chief of the Radiation Medicine Program, and Dr. David Jaffray, Head of Medical Physics and Director of the TECHNA Institute, at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre are enthusiastic.

“The program sees the immense potential that MR-supported radiation therapy has to improve the quality of radiation therapy by accurately identifying the spatial location of both the tumor and surrounding tissues at the time of delivery. We will have the potential to adjust the treatment plan and personalize care,” says Dr. Liu.

“The strength of the magnetic field and the highly integrated delivery system are critical to capitalizing on the system’s MR imaging capabilities. We look forward to working with Elekta on advancing the medical physics and clinical workflows that this exciting new technology brings to the table,” says Dr. Jaffray.

Odense University Hospital will acquire its MR-linac through Medicoteknik Region South. Knud Aage Werenberg, Head of Laboratory of Radiation Physics at Odense University Hospital says: “We are proud to be among the very first centers worldwide to be able to deliver MR-supported radiotherapy to the benefit of cancer patients in our region.

“With the MR-linac, image-guided radiotherapy has reached a new dimension, which implies that more healthy tissue can be saved and tumors can be treated with a higher dose. Furthermore, we find that there is a major potential in using the daily MR images as biomarker assays, which could provide patient-specific biological information that is not available today.”

Dr. Richard Hausmann, Elekta’s President and CEO, says: “We are delighted with the orders from Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Odense University Hospital. Two world-class cancer centers have chosen to team up with Elekta to further develop the new, groundbreaking clinical treatment possibilities that this exciting technology will deliver.

“MR-linac has the potential to fundamentally improve the way patients are treated with radiation. Doctors can see exactly what they are treating, even if affected organs are moving.”

Elekta’s MR-linac integrates an ultramodern radiotherapy system and a high-field 1.5T MRI scanner from our technology partner Philips with sophisticated software that enables clinicians to capture diagnostic quality images of tumors and surrounding tissue immediately before and during radiation delivery.

It is hoped that in the future this will also allow physicians to rapidly assess the radiation treatment, which offers a responsive intervention approach. The MR-linac is designed to improve targeting of tumor tissue while reducing exposure of normal tissue to radiation beams.

Elekta expects to receive regulatory clearance (CE mark) for its MR-linac system in the second half of 2017, at which time this novel radiation therapy technology will become available to treat patients.

Elekta’s MR-linac is a work in progress and has not yet been released or received regulatory approval for clinical use.