This summer, the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) will become the first health system in New England—and one of the first in the United States—to offer a new state-of-the-art radiation therapy for cancer patients, known as MRI-Guided Radiation Therapy (MRI-RT). This new therapy is part of a relentless pursuit to advance cancer care and provide the most innovative treatments for patients.
"Innovations in radiation oncology are constantly occurring. Every so often there's a really transformative change in terms of what we offer patients. The MRI-Guided Radiation Therapy technology that we are bringing to the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center is one of these moments of transformative change," says Daphne Haas-Kogan, MD, Chair of the Radiation Oncology Department at DF/BWCC.
MRI-Guided Radiation Therapy is a high-precision radiation treatment that targets tumors with high doses of radiation while minimizing damage to healthy tissues. MRI-RT offers the greatest benefit for soft-tissue tumors, including breast, gastrointestinal, gynecological, sarcoma, prostate and head and neck tumors—and for tumors that are highly mobile (e.g., lung cancers).
"MRI-Guided Radiation Therapy gives physicians a more precise way to see, track and treat tumors compared to the current standard of care that uses CT imaging or X-ray films to locate and target tumors for radiation treatment," says Raymond H. Mak, MD, a thoracic radiation oncologist in DF/BWCC's Radiation Oncology Department.
MRI-RT also allows clinicians to adapt daily treatments. "Adaptive treatment plans that are personalized to the real-time location of a patient's tumor and organs can be developed in an hour with the patient in the treatment room instead of taking a week," said Dr. Mak.
This revolutionary technology helps clinicians fine-tune the radiation treatment plan and personalize each treatment in ways they have never been able to do before.