Cleveland-based ViewRay, Inc., announces that the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center in Madison, Wisc., has begun patient treatments with the company’s MRIdian Linac, following an upgrade of the hospital’s original MRIdian System. The next-generation MRIdian Linac combines the benefits of MR-image guidance with linear accelerator radiation delivery for the precision treatment of cancer.

University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center helped pioneer the field of MR image-guided radiation therapy when they became the second hospital in the world to install the MRIdian System in the summer of 2014. Over the years they have treated hundreds of patients for indications including cancers of the breast, liver, lung, pancreas, and esophagus.

With its new MRIdian Linac, the hospital gains significant improvements, according to the company, such as greater treatment efficiency and sharper beams, with all of the clinical benefits of real-time MRI-targeting, tracking, and adaptive therapy. In addition to greater targeting precision, MRIdian Linac delivers radiation dose up to three times faster than the previous generation MRIdian system.

“With MRI-guidance we can see the impact our radiation therapy will have, and most importantly, how this affects our patients,” says Michael Bassetti, MD, assistant professor of human oncology at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center. “We no longer have to assume what’s happening inside the patient during treatment – we can actually watch the changes in real-time and respond accordingly.”

Unlike MR systems used in diagnostic radiology, MRIdian’s high-definition MR was purpose-built to address specific challenges, including beam distortion, skin toxicity, and other concerns that may potentially arise when high magnetic fields interact with radiation beams.

“Tumors often move throughout the breathing cycle, and internal organs change shape and position daily,” says John Bayouth, PhD, professor of human oncology and chief of medical physics at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center.  “Real-time MRI-guidance provides a novel way to manage the changing patient. This also helps us decrease radiation exposure to nearby healthy tissue and organs at risk during treatment.” 

For more information regarding the MRIdian Linac system, visit ViewRay.