MRIdian radiotherapy for kidney cancer
The UK’s first MRIdian MR linac at our centre in Oxford offers new possibilities for safe and effective treatment of kidney cancers
MRIdian stereotactic ablative radiotherapy
At GenesisCare, we provide specialist cancer care to thousands of people worldwide. We offer cutting-edge, innovative cancer treatments that are clinically proven to be safe and effective.
Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) is a highly targeted radiation treatment that can be used to destroy tumours in just a few clinic visits. MRIdian is the latest type of radiotherapy machine capable of providing SABR which can see and adjust for every movement during treatment using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This makes MR guided SABR a very safe and precise way to treat tumours of the kidney. This ground-breaking new treatment is now available at GenesisCare.
The MRIdian is one of the first of its kind in the world. It combines a powerful radiotherapy machine (called a linear accelerator or linac) with MRI technology to produce live, detailed images of your internal organs and tissues during treatment.
Tumours of the kidney can be difficult to target with other types of radiotherapy machine because they move during normal breathing and are near other unaffected organs. MRIdian MRI-guided radiotherapy is able to turn on the radiation beam only when the tumour is positioned precisely in the treatment window and turn off the beam in an instant if the tumour moves even by a fraction – helping to protect normal tissue from unnecessary radiation exposure. No other radiotherapy technology in the UK is currently able to achieve this.
GenesisCare is an expert provider of SABR treatments and has invested in the MRIdian to offer our patients access to this latest, world-class treatment here in the UK.
Benefits of the MRIdian
Real-time MRI means the MRIdian can show the exact position and shape of the tumour during treatment and therefore precisely target radiation at the tumour
The MRIdian is the only MR linac to have automated beam control, so if your tumour moves slightly, your treatment will automatically pause until it comes back into position
Increased accuracy means the radiation beam is less likely to damage normal tissue and nearby organs (such as the other kidney, bowel or spinal cord) when compared with conventional radiotherapy. Side effects occur when healthy tissue is damaged
Conventional radiotherapy is less often used for renal cancers, however, when it is used, it requires several weeks of daily therapy. The radiation with the MRIdian is much more focused and accurate so you’ll need far fewer treatments, ranging from a single treatment to five treatments
Enquire now about the MRIdian
The MRIdian for kidney cancer treatment
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a cancer of the kidney affecting people of all ages. Surgery has long been the main form of treatment for an RCC localised to your kidneys – this means where the cancer has not spread elsewhere in your body. You may however have other health problems, such as cardiovascular problems or obesity, meaning surgery is not advisable or not possible, or you may simply prefer to not have surgery.
Less invasive RCC treatments are available, such as cryotherapy, ablation or embolisation, however some are limited to the treatment of smaller tumours only and they still require you to have a general anaesthetic. Tumours placed centrally in the kidney usually require the whole kidney to be removed. With SABR, only the tumour is targeted, with the remaining kidney spared, therefore retaining function while providing an excellent treatment.
The MRIdian at GenesisCare in Oxford – the only one in the UK – is designed to safely treat such cancers without the need for a general anaesthetic or surgery. MRIdian treatment is also suitable for patients on blood-thinning medication (anticoagulants) without the need to stop or alter your treatment.
What are the side effects of kidney radiotherapy with the MRIdian?
Your GenesisCare consultant will discuss with you what side effects you’re likely to experience, which may include mild tiredness, nausea which responds well to anti-sickness medications, and a reduction in renal function. It’s important that you attend your follow-up appointments so we can identify and treat any problems as soon as possible. Your consultant and radiographers can also provide advice about things you can try to help, and no question is too small if you have any queries or concerns.
We know that living with cancer can be challenging. That’s why you’ll also be offered support through life-changing therapies, such as psychological support and wellbeing therapies. These are provided to all patients at no extra cost to you or your insurer, to help you manage the side effects of treatment and symptoms of cancer.
SABR for kidney cancer
Range of tumour sizes treated
No invasive procedures
Reduced risk of kidney damage
Renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) have traditionally been difficult to treat with radiotherapy because they were considered to be resistant to conventional doses of radiation. However, SABR is delivered at very precise target areas using a much higher dose than conventional radiotherapy, meaning it can more effectively destroy tumour cells. Studies show excellent results with cancer control for SABR in the kidney. SABR for RCC has been shown to be effective and well-tolerated with manageable side effects. It preserves kidney function with outcomes that are similar to other treatments. 
The kidneys are close to other tissues and organs which are sensitive to radiation injury, and the high doses of SABR makes it all the more important to protect these tissues. Delivering SABR using MRI-guided technology such as the MRIdian can help to protect these tissues and limit side effects and risks.
- Correa R, Louie A, Zaorsky N, Lehrer E, Ellis R, Ponsky L et al. The Emerging Role of Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy for Primary Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Eur Urol Focus. 2019;5(6):958-969.