Why is MRI important?
CT (Computed Tomography) has been used for the past 15 years in radiotherapy to optimize the positioning of the patient. With MRI we can see the internal organs very well, better than with any other technique. Even the tumor is very well visible.
What is the difference between CT and MRI?
CT is an X-ray technology which exposes the patient to additional radiation. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) does not use X-ray. This technology allows to optimally view the tumor and surrounding healthy tissue and organs. This is the reason why MRI is also widely used in diagnostic imaging.
What does MRI guided radiotherapy mean?
MRI guidance allows not only for optimal patient positioning before the treatment, but because of continuous MRI imaging, also to very precisely monitor and track a moving tumor during the treatment.
What is the benefit of continuous MRI guidance?
The internal organs, including the tumor, are moving continuously and change shape, size and position every day. The Viewray MRIdian Linac uses MRI imaging to make this visible.
Are my organs moving even if I lay still?
When we are in rest and just breathing, the organs and tumor are still moving continuously due to involuntarily movements such as filling of the bladder, beating of the heart or gas passing through the bowel. These movements can be significant and even as much as a few centimetres. The MRIdian Linac can make these movements visible.
Why is organ motion during treatment important?
In radiotherapy, it is important to deliver as much as possible radiation to the tumor without affecting the healthy surrounding tissue. For this reason, it is very important to see the exact location of the tumor and healthy organs at any moment.
How can the MRIdian Linac adapt to my moving organs?
If the tumor is moving out of the treatment field, the MRIdian Linac automatically detects this and immediately pauses the radiation avoiding damaging surrounding healthy tissue.
Can the radiation be adapted to changing size of tumor and surrounding tissue?
Yes, the MRIdian Linac can adapt to the shrinking tumor and changing surrounding tissue. This adaption can be done during the treatment.
Why is it important not to irradiate healthy tissue?
Radiation to healthy tissue will damage it and causes all kind of side effects. The MRIdian Linac will minimize radiation to healthy tissue reducing side effects.
With the MRI capabilities of the MRIdian Linac, will I need less treatments?
With the continuous MRI imaging the MRIdian Linac can target and monitor the tumor more precisely, making it possible to increase the dose per treatment session and potentially reduce the number of sessions.
What cancer can be best treated on the MRIdian Linac?
MRIdian Linac can treat any type of cancer anywhere in the body very effectively. Generally, doctors use the MRIdian Linac preferably with tumors that move a lot, such as liver and lung tumors. These are tumors in the so called soft tissue in which there is a lot of movement and where the surrounding tissue is sensitive to radiation. Discuss with your specialist whether treatment with MRIdian Linac is right for you.