MRI Guided Radiation Therapy improves Target Localization, Says Fact.MR

Radiation therapy have been used in medical science to treat cancer. The main aim is to control tumor with specific effect on cancerous tissues while adjacent organs not being effected. Technological advancements have penetrated medical sector giving various advanced treatment methodologies. Intensity modulated radiotherapy is a product of technology and aids radiotherapy. It helps to provide different intensity of radiation that is organ specific. Irregular sized organs are mostly benefited from it. With all the advancements, chances of missing radiation target tissues still exists.

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Motion management important

Radiation on healthy tissue can generate many serious side effects. Image guidance is a necessary technology that gives precise information of alignment of target region. MRI is Magnetic resonance Imaging (MRI) and is a part of imaged guided radio therapy. MRI guided radio therapy improves targeting and optimizes motion management. Target localization forms the basis of radiation therapy. Radiation is provided to a particular area. Once the target is realized, intensities of radiation and further doses can be fixed for application. Safety of adjacent organs is primary.

Motion management takes account of various motions such as respiratory motion. Fluoroscopic visualization has been used traditionally to assess the areas affected by diaphragm motions. Once the areas are outlined, they are further marked for application of radiation. Internal target volume method is employed to assess areas around tumor targets that can be associated with respiratory movement in patient. Although this method is successful to an extent, it does not fully entertain big tumors. Big tumors will cover larger surrounding area during movement and radiation can be applied to a greater non-tumor part. Therefore, sophisticated tumor imaging capabilities are required to trace and monitor tumor motions.

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MRI enables radiotherapy plans

MRI is used to track movement of large organs like tumor. MRI gives precision to imaging like no other technique and hence, holds prominence with radiation therapy. MRI also helps in assessing the exact changes in tumor sizes that occurs during the entire phase of cancer and post cancer treatment. Radiation therapy can be automated and MRI images facilitate accurate application. Tumor’s response in their size, shape and functionalities need to be analyzed after single radiation dose. This arises the necessity of an imaging technique like MRI that helps in showing immediate results. After studying result of first dose of radiation application, further doses can be increased as per requirement.

Surgeons in medicine are human beings who are incapable to see the target with naked eyes. MRI and other technologies have immensely helped these professionals to give better treatment. MRI guided radiation therapy benefits overall tumor treatment in multiple ways like improving target localization, facilitating accurate application and enabling non-invasive motion management, and acts a potential enabler of radio therapy plans in real-time. With all the success, MRI guided radiation therapy has some challenges that might be solved in future. A different set of MRI sequences needs to be setup for each imaging demand. Researches are being carried out to find out optimal MRI process involved in each clinical setup. The future of MRI guided radiation therapy lies in finding non affected areas that can be future areas of target after metastasis of existing tumor.

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