December 6, 2021 by John Fernandez
Precision MR-Guided Radiation Therapy Coming Soon to Lynn Cancer Institute
Cancer patients seeking treatment at Lynn Cancer Institute at Boca Raton Regional Hospital will soon have access to a sophisticated form of radiation therapy also being used at Miami Cancer Institute to successfully treat more and more different types of tumors, doctors say.
According to Michael Kasper, M.D., director of radiation oncology for Lynn Cancer Institute, which is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the ViewRay MRIdian® MR-guided radiation therapy system uses magnetic resonance imaging to precisely target the tumor while sparing healthy surrounding tissue.
“With this ViewRay technology, we’ll be able to deliver extremely precise doses of radiation through the use of continuous MR guidance,” Dr. Kasper says. “This type of precision radiation delivery offers not only added patient convenience through shorter radiation courses, it also optimizes efficacy in cancer care by allowing us to see tumors and normal organs and adapt radiation daily based on their position.”
Dr. Kasper expects the novel cancer-fighting technology to be available at Lynn Cancer Institute in late 2022. Only two other cancer centers in the region currently offer MR-guided radiation therapy, he says. Miami Cancer Institute, also a part of Baptist Health, has been using it to treat patients since 2018.
“The addition of Baptist Health’s second MRIdian system is an important expansion of our radiation oncology offerings at Lynn Cancer Institute and another example of our commitment to excellence and innovation as a leader in cancer care,” says Dr. Kasper, who also serves as director of Lynn Cancer Institute at Bethesda – Radiation Oncology, which opened this past summer in Boynton Beach.
According to Dr. Kasper, the MRIdian system provides oncologists with outstanding anatomical visualization through diagnostic-quality MR images and the ability to adapt a radiation therapy plan to the targeted cancer while the patient remains on the table. This combination lets the oncologist define tight treatment margins – thereby avoiding unnecessary radiation exposure for vulnerable nearby organs at risk, he says – and allows for the delivery of ablative radiation doses in five or fewer treatment sessions, without relying on implanted markers.
“By providing real-time continuous tracking of the target and surrounding healthy tissues, MRIdian enables automatic gating of the radiation beam if the target moves outside the user-defined margins,” Dr. Kasper explains. “This allows for delivery of the prescribed dose to the target, while sparing surrounding healthy tissue and critical structures, which results in minimizing toxicities typically associated with conventional radiation therapy.”
Not all patients are candidates for MR-guided radiation therapy, Dr. Kasper notes. “Some patients can’t tolerate MRIs and therefore wouldn’t be able to benefit from this,” he says. “But for patients who are candidates, we’re seeing successful outcomes when using this to treat prostate cancer and certain other types of soft-tissue tumors.”
Located on the campus of Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Lynn Cancer Institute is one of the largest cancer centers in South Florida, according to Louise Morrell, M.D., medical director for the Institute. “We treat 4,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year, on average,” she says. “Our teams of multimodal specialists use the very latest treatments and most advanced technologies available to help cancer patients become cancer survivors.”