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World’s first MR-guided RT system, MRIdian, comes to the U.S. East Coast

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | April 19, 2016
MRI Rad Oncology Radiation Therapy
ViewRay's MRIdian system
The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is part of the University of Miami Health System, has started to treat its patients with the world’s first and only clinical MR-guided radiation therapy system, ViewRay’s MRIdian. This is the first time the treatment has been made available on the East Coast of the U.S.

“Prior to MR-guidance, you would have your best guess,” Michael Saracen, senior director of marketing of ViewRay, told HCB News. “But now, with the advent of an onboard MR, not only do you get arguably the best soft tissue images in the industry using MR to align the patient, but because you have a quality image equivalent to one you would plan off of, you can adapt the treatment in real time.”

The first two patients at the cancer center were treated using the system over the past few days. The center is in the process of ramping up the use of the MRIdian system and the physicians are very excited about it.
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"The ability to view the tumor and normal tissues in real time using MRI-guidance is a huge advance in radiation therapy, which we expect to benefit patients through improvements in tumor control and reduced toxicity," said Dr. Alan Pollack, Radiation Oncology Chair at Sylvester, in a statement. "We're proud to offer this advanced cancer treatment to patients within Florida and beyond."

The MRIdian system integrates MR technology, radiation delivery, and proprietary software to locate, target and track the position and shape of tumors while radiation is delivered.

Conventionally, radiation oncologists take an X-ray just prior to treatment, align everything as close as they can, and place a margin around the tumor to make sure they don’t miss anything. With MR-guidance, physicians can take some of the uncertainty out of the treatment.

Dr. Maria Thomas of Washington University School of Medicine conducted a breast study using the MRIdian system and was able to increase the dose and reduce the margins significantly to achieve excellent to good cosmesis. Typically, a large percentage of patients would have fair to poor cosmesis after treatment due to the radiation treatment with a larger margin.

MRIdian received FDA approval in 2012 and CE mark in 2014. There was interest in the system when it first hit the market, but now there seems to be even more interest, due to some compelling data that has been released, said Saracen.

Dr. Jeffrey Bradley of the Siteman Cancer Center and Washington University School of Medicine used the MRIdian system to conduct lung studies and found significant tumor reduction halfway through the hypofractionated treatment. There was on average a 20 percent reduction in tumor size.

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