Elekta’s MR-linac integrates an ultramodern radiotherapy system and a high-field MRI scanner with sophisticated software. It will enable a physician to capture high-quality images of tumors and surrounding tissues during radiation therapy delivery.

The MR-linac is designed to improve targeting of tumor tissue while reducing exposure of healthy tissue to radiation. It could allow physicians to precisely target a tumor, even when tumor tissue changes shape, location, size or composition between treatment sessions.

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.”

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.