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Home » Oncology » Personalised radiotherapy delivered through MR-guided radiotherapy

Liz Raspa

Marketing Director, Region Europe, Elekta

The era of magnetic resonance radiation therapy began in the UK, when the first prostate cancer patient was treated with a new innovative therapy.

Back in September 2018, a 65-year-old patient became a medical pioneer, by volunteering to be the first in the United Kingdom to receive his radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer on Elekta Unity. A revolutionary magnetic resonance radiation therapy (MR/RT) system that enables delivery of highly personalised radiation treatment.

Elekta Unity combines a state-of-the-art 1.5T MRI with an advanced radiation delivery system. The MRI provides superior visualisation of the day-to-day changes in the anatomy which enables the clinical care team to reshape the radiation dose for every treatment to account for changes in shape and position of the tumour and surrounding healthy tissue. It ensures an accurate dose is delivered to the tumour, while minimising the radiation dose to healthy tissue and surrounding organs.

Since MRI imaging does not involve the use of x-rays or ionising radiation, the care team can continuously image and monitor the patient’s anatomy throughout the treatment. This way the patient receives personalised treatment every day.

The MRI provides superior visualisation of the day-to-day changes in the anatomy.

Right patient at the right time

“The patient came along at exactly the right time,” recalls Alison Tree, MD, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden and Team Leader in Uro-oncology Clinical Trials at the ICR. “We began recruiting patients to participate in a clinical trial in July 2018 and we needed a first patient.

“I had discussed the study with the patient a couple months before because I anticipated he would be finishing the initial phase of his hormone therapy. Since he wouldn’t need long-term hormone treatments, had a relatively small prostate and no urinary symptoms, he was an ideal candidate.”

The Royal Marsden and the ICR were the third site in the world to begin treating clinically with Elekta Unity. There are now 45 systems in use around the globe and more than 4,000 patients have benefitted from it.

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