GenesisCare UK brings MRIdian radiotherapy to the UK, shortening treatment time for prostate cancer and offering new hope to people with difficult to treat tumours

For the first time, patients in the UK now have access to MRIdian – the world’s smartest radiotherapy treatment – at GenesisCare’s treatment centre in Oxford. 

This technology combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques with extremely precise radiotherapy beams, enabling the clinician to visualise the exact position and shape of a patient’s tumour in real time whilst their treatment is being delivered, and ensuring the cancer is targeted with a new level of precision and control.

In contrast to conventional radiotherapy, where the same treatment plan is used every day, MRIdian allows the clinician to adapt the treatment to changes in tumour size and position, and to the changes in normal tissues that occur day-to-day. This approach can reduce the dose to normal tissues over the course of treatment, reducing side effects, and also allow the clinician to give a higher dose to certain tumours than would be possible using conventional radiotherapy, potentially improving the chance of tumour eradication.

Additionally, if suitable, patients will benefit from being able to visualise the movement of their tumours while inside the MRIdian – enabling them to take an active role in delivery of radiotherapy with carefully guided adjustments to their breathing.

MRIdian’s state-of-the-art technology enables clinicians to treat early stage prostate cancer in days rather than weeks. With conventional radiotherapy, patients typically require at least 20 treatments – with the MRIdian they may only need five.

Speaking about the new technology available, Dr Philip Camilleri, Clinical Director of Urological Cancers at GenesisCare UK, Oxford, said:

“Treatment on the MRIdian allows us to be virtually 100% accurate, 100% of the time. I’m delighted that GenesisCare has been able to bring this technology to the UK for the first time as I have seen significant benefits this brings to patients. This treatment allows us to adapt the radiation field to the daily changes in anatomy of the target and the surrounding areas, ensuring that treatment on the MRIdian is as accurate and effective as possible each and every day.” 

The increased accuracy means that MRIdian can also be used to improve clinical outcomes for cancers in the abdomen, such as inoperable pancreatic and liver tumours once treatable only with chemotherapy.

MRIdian is particularly useful for delivering stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR), which aims to eradicate tumours in only 3-5 treatment sessions. Dr James Good, Clinical Director of Stereotactic Radiotherapy, said:

The ability to adapt the radiation treatment to changes in the patient’s tumour and normal tissues, as well as see the tumour in real time as we treat, is a really significant development. It means that people with hard-to-treat cancers in the abdomen, and secondary tumours close to normal tissues, have a new potential option open to them. All patients referred to GenesisCare for SABR are now considered for MRIdian.”

MRIdian is just one example of a range of new cancer treatment approaches being brought to the UK by GenesisCare, such as Theranostics, “Mixed Reality Viewer” goggles and Exercise Medicine.

GenesisCare is partnering with the University of Oxford and a team of expert clinicians who will work together to conduct clinical trials with the aiming of building a UK body of evidence that will impact the lives of many patients, including a number of NHS patients being treated by the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Professor Mark Middleton, Head of the Department of Oncology at the University of Oxford said:

“We are very excited to be working with GenesisCare on the MRIdian. The opening of the new facility is a significant step forward in our collaboration. Our partnership will allow NHS patients to access this important new treatment and our research together will ensure we get the most out of the new technology” 

James McArthur, General Manager, GenesisCare UK commented on the landmark moment, saying: 

“GenesisCare is delighted to bring the MRIdian machine to the UK for the first time in partnership with the University of Oxford. We look forward to working in partnership with patients, academic organisations, and the NHS to continue to make the world’s most innovative technologies such as MRIdian available to as many people as possible.”

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