Cancer patients can from today potentially access the UK’s first MRIdian machine, a new radiotherapy treatment said to reduce treatment time and cause fewer side effects.
The technology combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques with high precision radiotherapy beams, allowing clinicians to adapt treatment to take account of tumour movement in real time, which reduces the amount of healthy tissue hit by radiotherapy, thereby lowering the risk of side effects.
As the machine enables higher doses to certain tumours than would be possible using conventional radiotherapy treatment time can be shortened; with conventional radiotherapy, early stage prostate cancer patients typically require at least 20 treatments – with the MRIdian it can be as low as five.
The MRIdian has been launched by private cancer care provider GenesisCare at its centre in Oxford but, as part of a partnership with the University of Oxford, NHS patients will also be able to access this treatment as part of trials.
“Treatment on the MRIdian allows us to be virtually 100% accurate, 100% of the time,” said Dr Philip Camilleri, clinical director of Urological Cancers at GenesisCare UK, Oxford.
“This treatment allows us to adapt the radiation field to the daily changes in anatomy of the target and the surrounding areas, ensuring that treatment on the MRIdian is as accurate and effective as possible each and every day.”