MRI utilization in radiation therapy treatment planning continues to see steady growth in the market and becomes more important for our customers. However, there are several challenges that need to be addressed when utilizing MRI for RT treatment planning. We visited the Imaging Science Institute in the University Hospital in Erlangen to interview Dr. Florian Putz, a senior physician in the Department of Radiation Oncology and Siti Masitho, a medical physicist. They led us through the process of how they are overcoming some of the main challenges to create an optimized workflow and achieve accurate results with the MAGNETOM RT Pro edition for MAGNETOM Sola.
In MR imaging for radiotherapy treatment planning, the main challenge is to visualize the 3D tumor perimeter as accurately as possible for optimized target delineation.
The MAGNETOM RT Pro edition addresses the challenges of patient positioning for RT treatment planning.
A flat couch top overlay allows flexible placement of immobilization equipment enabling the same patient positioning for the imaging and the treatment which highly improves the RT planning workflow. The flex coils provide excellent image quality in the RT treatment position.
Having accurate and reproducible coordinates and slice orientation is challenging for RT planning. The myExam RT Assist1 provides a comprehensive workflow and sequences which have been optimized to specifically address the requirements of MR imaging in radiation therapy.
Another challenge for radiotherapy planning is the respiration-induced motion of the abdomen and thorax, which can hinder the accurate determination of treatment margins for target tumors. 4D MRI – RT Respiratory Self-Gating can assist customers to overcome these challenges. 4D MRI utilizes an acquisition technique that captions organ motion in the abdomen and thorax under free-breathing with excellent soft tissue contrast and automatic respiratory phase sorting during the entire acquisition time.
While MR provides excellent soft-tissue imaging, CT is still essential for providing electron density information for dose planning which MR images cannot deliver. This is where the Synthetic CT comes into play. It allows to perform an MR-only radiotherapy planning workflow through deriving a CT-like image from a series of MR sequences and can be used for dose calculation without the need for a CT scan.
All these features and more are regularly utilized by Dr. Putz and his team at the University of Erlangen with the MAGNETOM RT Pro edition for MAGNETOM Sola. Watch the video to learn how they are using the scanner to include advanced imaging in their radiotherapy workflow.