Image-guided radiation therapy results in smaller and more precise fields of radiation to improve the efficiency of treating cancer patients by more accurately tracking the tumor and not affecting adjacent normal tissue. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is great for patients for shorter and more accurate treatment, because of the real-time visualization for truly adaptive radiation therapy.
About MRI-Guided Radiation Therapy
MRI-guided radiation therapy uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) together with radiotherapy to treat tumors and cancers throughout the body.
The use of MRI during radiotherapy enables the most precise targeting of radiation by accurately tracking the position and shape of a patient’s tumor. When internal organs move in response to respiratory and heart movement, this machine directs the treatment to precisely respond to the tumor’s change in position.
Benefits of MRI-Guided Radiation Therapy
The result is smaller and more precise fields of radiation, which spare the surrounding normal tissue. Best of all for patients, treatment courses can be shorter and more accurate.
“The magnetic resonance imaging enables much more precision in defining the organs within the body, and with much more clarity. Also, [it offers] some functional information that you wouldn’t get with a normal CT scan and normal radiation machine. These unique characteristics enable the safe delivery of larger and more precisely targeted doses of radiation, reducing the number of visits needed to ablate a cancer,” says Dr. Silvia Formenti, Chief of Radiation Oncology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Chairman of Radiation Oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine.
MRI-Guided Radiation Therapy at NewYork-Presbyterian
Your Treatment Plan
NewYork-Presbyterian is the only hospital in the tri-state area to offer MRI-guided radiation therapy treatments using MRIdian (by ViewRay).
Your MRI-Guided Radiation Therapy is offered at the NewYork-Presbyterian David H. Koch Center.
To prepare for your treatment, you may have a planning appointment as well as a CT scan and MRI to take images of the structures and tissue within your body. The next step is for our team to create a treatment plan that is personalized to you. Each treatment plan will vary, but courses range from a few days to several weeks depending on factors like the type and location of your tumor.
When you arrive for each treatment session, a new MRI will be taken to compare to your original scan. To begin delivering cancer treatment, the radiation beam will be turned on while the MRI captures continuous images of your tissue. If the tumor or target area moves out of range, treatment pauses temporarily and does not resume until the area is back in range.
What to Expect
The systems in use do generate noise, so you will be given a set of specially-designed headphones to wear during your MRI scans and treatment.
MRI-Guided Radiation Therapy is painless and you will be lying still for the duration of your treatment session. Most patients are able to return to their normal daily routine after treatment.