The Northern Centre for Cancer Care (NCCC) recently installed a Siemens MAGNETOM Espree MRI. Reportedly, this is the first Siemens MRI in the UK dedicated to radiotherapy treatment planning. The 1.5 Tesla system features a 70cm internal bore and short 125cm system length. This means patients have 30cm of headroom during scans to ease feelings of claustrophobia. NCCC has claimed that the Espree combines performance, patient satisfaction and a broad array of applications.

NCCC’s current linear accelerator portfolio includes five ONCOR systems from Siemens Healthcare. Each ONCOR is being upgraded to 160 multileaf collimator (MLC) capabilities to improve conformal shaping of radiotherapy treatment beams and IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) delivery. This is expected to ensure a higher level of precision during treatment.

Gill Lawrence, head of Radiotherapy Physics at the NCCC, said: “The upgraded ONCOR systems will enable us to improve conformal therapy plus offer more IMRT. When the upgrades have been established, we will be able to provide IMRT to our prostate cancer patients and this will be a far quicker process with 160MLC capabilities. With the addition of the Espree MRI, we will be able to complement the treatment planning imaging systems already in place – the wide bore was a key factor in the decision to opt for the Siemens equipment as it offers a better patient experience.”

Neil Lincoln, regional sales manager at Siemens Healthcare, said: “The Northern Centre for Cancer Care has some of the latest equipment available for treating cancer and we’re delighted to be able to supply the first Siemens MRI in the UK dedicated to radiotherapy treatment planning. Combined with high specification upgrades on five of our linear accelerators, the centre will be able to offer the best quality care and treatment planning for patients.”