By Diana Lomont, Editorial Contributor
Even when you’re sitting or lying down, a lot of movement is happening inside your body. Just the act of breathing as the lungs expand and contract causes movement in the pancreas, stomach and kidneys. And a full stomach can push against your liver as digestion occurs.
All of this movement makes it challenging to precisely target tumor cells during radiation beam therapy. But a new technology called MRIdian® is changing that — and benefiting patients in the process.
“With MRIdian, we can be more confident that with each treatment, we’re hitting the precise area,” explains Dr. Patrick Kelly, director of radiation research at Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center. “We’re able to focus the radiation much more specifically where the tumor is, and away from healthy tissue, because we know where the tumor is while we’re treating it — not where it was four to five days ago when we came up with a treatment plan or even 5 to 10 minutes ago when we set the patient up in the room, but actually as we’re going through the treatment.”
For some patients, the more precise targeting of cancer tumors provided by MRI-guided radiation therapy can reduce the average course of treatment by as much as half, or by several weeks, says Dr. Kelly.
Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center – Health Central Hospital is one of only two healthcare facilities in Florida, and only the sixth in the nation, to offer MRIdian cancer treatment. The new technology will be available to patients throughout the Orlando Health system. Doctors will evaluate their patients to determine if MRIdian treatments at the new cancer center in Ocoee would be appropriate for their circumstances.
Tumors of the pancreas, stomach, liver, lungs, rectum and colon as well as gynecological cancers are best-suited to MRI-guided radiation therapy, says Dr. Kelly.
For more information about the MRIdian technology, go to OrlandoHealthCancer.com/WestOrange.