Tumour in sight during radio treatment
The ITEA projects SoRTS and STARLIT addressed image-guided radiotherapy,
improving the real-time connections between a Philips MRI scanner for
imaging and an ELEKTA LINAC system for radio treatment.
The availability of MR images, with low latency, during radio treatment,
allows a more precise treatment, leading to several benefits for the patient.
Most importantly, this enables a precise treatment as the tumour is
constantly ‘in sight’ during the radio treatment. Consequently, less healthy
tissue is damaged, supporting a reduction of necessary radiation sessions.
The predecessor of STARLIT, the ITEA SoRTS project ,already
connection, to ensure more precision but this supports only gating. This
means that the radiation is shut off when the tumour moves out of the
beam. This version of the MR-LINAC is available at more than 60 places
in the world for patient treatment, and the order intake is increasing.
STARLIT improves the results of SoRTS by reducing the latencies even
more, allowing the tumour movement to be followed with the beam. In
addition, during treatments, the delivered dose is measured. These
improvements will become available as upgrades for the installed
base in the coming years.
Unfortunately, the project leader himself needed radio treatment,
during the last year of the project. The traditional treatment would have
involved 20 treatments in four weeks. However, the MR-LINAC treatment,
based on the SoRTS project results, offered a treatment of five sessions in
20 days. This reduced the burden of travelling to the hospital substantially,
and also the side-effects, like fatigue, were much less. As less tissue is
damaged, the recovery time in general is also much shorter. In fact, he was
even able to work about half of the time in these 20 days, instead of being
out of work for four weeks. Also possible discomfort, like being partially out
of action for a few months, did not occur with the MR-LINAC treatment. As
a result of the STARLIT project, the number of treatments will even reduce
more and consequently also further reduce the side-effects and burden for
patients in the future.
In addition to the clear benefits that the MR-LINEAC treatment offers
patients, there is also a strong benefit for hospitals. As fewer treatments are
needed per patient, they can treat much more patients in the same time.
ITEA 3 project
SoRTS & STARLIT