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Tougher on the tumour, gentler on the patient

Using MRI technology, the project Gentle Radiotherapy aims to realise the vision of individualised cancer treatment, with better results and fewer side effects. Peter Lundberg, professor at Linköping University, is part of the project.

Cancer treatment methods are increasingly effective, and more of us will live with cured cancer. So it is important that the treatment itself does not cause debilitating injuries. It is common that parts of a tumour require an extra high dose of radiation. Good quality imaging technology can deliver an extra dose of radiation exactly where it is needed, avoiding adjacent organs.

There are great hopes for the development of radiotherapy (RT) using magnetic resonance tomography (MRT). But before it can be used in healthcare on a large scale, this concept requires new methods, new technology and new software.

The project kicks off on 9-10 June, when researchers from Sweden’s university hospitals and representatives from leading radiotherapy companies meet in Sundsvall. They will formulate joint guidelines to ensure that the radiotherapy of the future will be tough on the tumour, but gentle on the patient.

Heading the project is Mikael Karlsson, professor and medical physicist at Umeå University and the University Hospital of Umeå.

Peter LundbergProject manager for quality control of RT in MRI scanners is Peter Lundberg, professor and MRI physicist at Linköping University and Linköping University Hospital.

”By integrating contemporary imaging techniques with radiotherapy, we can locate tumours and radiate with higher and higher precision. For this reason, it’s particularly important to monitor the quality of the use of MRI in RT,” he explains.

Sweden is well positioned in this field. Today most Swedish university hospitals have MRI scanners at RT departments, and further purchases are planned.

”In Linköping we are at the forefront with advanced MRI applications, especially with the unique, cross-professional collaboration between academia and clinic at CMIV, Center for Medical Imaging and Visualization”, says Prof Lundberg.

Gentle Radiotherapy is a three-year national project with support from Vinnova (Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems) for applied research in image-guided radiation therapy against cancer. The work is to produce internationally competitive innovations. The project is a collaboration between Swedish university hospitals, academia and leading radiotherapy companies.

Monica Westman Svenselius 2014-06-16


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Last updated: 2014-07-02