Tech News Summary:
- The Northern Ireland Cancer Center has increased the chances of curing early-stage lung cancer in some patients through the use of stereotactic radiation therapy (SABR).
- SABR has improved the control rate of early-stage lung cancer from 50% to 85% compared to standard radiation therapy while minimizing damage to nearby normal tissue.
- Nearly 400 people are projected to have been treated with SABR at the Northern Ireland Cancer Center by December 2023.
Belfast, Northern Ireland – The Northern Ireland Cancer Centre has recently implemented a new technology that could change the game in the fight against cancer. The new technology, called MR-linac, combines MRI scanning and radiotherapy, allowing doctors to deliver highly targeted radiation doses to tumors with even greater precision.
This technology is particularly significant for treating cancers that are difficult to reach with conventional radiotherapy, such as tumors in the lung, pancreas or liver. The MR-linac technology is able to map the position of the tumor in real time, even as the patient is breathing or moving, and can adjust the radiation dose accordingly. This precision allows for higher doses of radiation to be delivered to the tumor while minimizing harm to surrounding healthy tissue.
The implementation of the MR-linac technology at the cancer centre is a significant boost to the chances of curing cancer patients, according to Dr. Michael Solleveld, Lead Clinical Scientist in Radiotherapy Physics at the Belfast Trust. “This technology has the potential to really improve the outcomes for patients with difficult-to-treat cancers,” he said. “It allows us to deliver higher doses of radiation to the tumor and reduce the risk of side effects for the patient.”
The MR-linac technology was first developed in the Netherlands, and its implementation in Northern Ireland is a testament to the commitment of the Belfast Trust to providing the latest and most effective treatments for those fighting cancer. The new technology is already being used to treat patients at the cancer centre, and doctors are optimistic about the potential benefits it will bring.
The MR-linac technology is just one example of the many advances being made in the fight against cancer. While the disease remains a significant challenge, developments like this offer hope for improved outcomes for patients and reinforce the ongoing efforts to find effective cures.