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MRI-based radiotherapy

Better images of the tumour

With the MRI scanner, we will be better able to locate tumours, emit radiation with higher precision, and clearly see how the tumour responds to treatment. The technology also means the patients receive a smaller dose of radiation, fewer examinations and reduced healthcare costs. 

In healthcare, two methods are used for high-resolution images to produce a correct image of the patient’s anatomy: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT). Modern day radiotherapy is based largely on information from CT images, but MRI images provide a better basis for decisions for a number of diagnoses. This is true for cancer of the prostate, rectum, cervix, brain and skin/throat.

Quickly shows the effect of treatment

With advanced MRI techniques, it is possible to locate and delimit the site of a tumour in a way that was not previously possible. It is also possible, at an early stage, to discern whether the tumour responds to the treatment and quickly change method if required.

New methods for commercialisation

There are great advantages to planning radiotherapy by using images from an MRI scanner, but further advancements in imaging technology are required in order to gain all the information required in healthcare. This project is currently developing methods to plan radiotherapy based solely on MRI images. The idea is also that companies should be able to commercialise the technology.

Individually adapted cancer treatment

It has now been clinically proven that there are benefits to gain from increasing the use of anatomical MRI in radiotherapy. A series of scientific publications has shown that it works and is a safe approach. There are also strong indications that advanced MRI will be a key component in the more individualised cancer treatment of the future.

More and more hospitals use MRI images

Today, the majority of Swedish university hospitals have MRI scanners dedicated to radiotherapy and more purchases are planned. There is thus a great need of methods to optimise use of the technology.

Participants in the project include representatives for Sweden’s university hospitals, Siemens, Elekta, Naslund Medical and representatives for the County Hospital in Gävle, Jönköping and Sundsvall.