The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, a specialist cancer center in Manchester, UK, has joined a research consortium led by Elekta and Royal Philips whose aim is to develop the clinical value of an integrated MRI-guided radiation therapy system.

“The Christie was an essential participant in the project 14 years ago that laid the foundations of the use of cone beam computed tomography [CBCT] at the time of treatment to improve radiotherapy delivery,” said Niklas Savander, Elekta president and CEO. “It has a dedicated team of researchers in medical physics, radiotherapy, and clinical oncology and MR imaging that is committed to the most accurate and individualized delivery of radiation therapy. The Christie has the perfect blend of experience and expertise to further help the consortium make MRI-guided radiation therapy a reality.”

The hospital is the seventh institution to join the consortium, which also includes the University Medical Center Utrecht (Utrecht, the Netherlands); The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, Texas); The Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (Amsterdam, the Netherlands); Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (Toronto, Ontario); The Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center (Milwaukee, Wisconsin); and The Institute of Cancer Research, working with its clinical partner The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust (London, England).

“We are very excited to be a part of an international consortium of truly exceptional centers that are striving as we are to develop technological innovations to benefit patients,” said Ananya Choudhury, PhD, consultant and honorary senior clinical lecturer, clinical oncology at The Christie. “Unlike any imaging modality now in use in combination with radiotherapy, MRI can provide highly detailed images of the tumor and surrounding normal tissues. Moreover, MRI will permit physicians to non-invasively visualize and track the target during beam delivery—real-time imaging—which will further improve treatment accuracy.”

Following a recent meeting of the consortium in Utrecht which the Christie attended, the group concluded that MRI-guided radiation therapy would most likely apply in cases where anatomy changes shape or position during treatment. MRI treatment would increase the accuracy of dose placement, reducing the need for large safety margins around the tumor target.

For more information, visit Elekta and Royal Philips.