Installation of Elekta’s sixth high-field MR-adaptive linear accelerator initiated at The Christie
MANCHESTER, England, October 12, 2016 – Elekta (EKTA-B.ST), its MRI technology partner Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust have initiated installation of an investigational high-field MR-adaptive linear accelerator (MR-linac) system at The Christie.
Elekta’s MR-linac integrates an ultramodern radiotherapy system and a high-field MRI scanner with sophisticated software. It will enable a physician to capture high-quality images of tumors and surrounding tissues during radiation therapy delivery. The MR-linac is designed to improve targeting of tumor tissue while reducing exposure of healthy tissue to radiation. It could allow physicians to precisely target a tumor, even when tumor tissue changes shape, location, size or composition between treatment sessions.
The Christie is the sixth global site to install the MR-linac system, which is already under functional evaluation at The Netherlands Cancer Institute; University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Texas; and the Institute of Cancer Research, working with its clinical partner The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London. Installation of an MR-linac system at the Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin Clinical Cancer Center at Froedtert Hospital was initiated in September 2016.
The Christie was an essential partner for Elekta in the development and use of cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) image guidance at the time of treatment to improve the delivery of radiotherapy, and has significant experience and expertise that will help realize the potential of MR-linac and, in the future, enable adaptive radiotherapy. It joined Elekta’s MR-linac research consortium in 2014. The consortium, a global collaboration of institutions focused on uniting leaders in radiation oncology, MR imaging and physics, has a mission to demonstrate that MR-linac technology can lead to improved patient outcomes for existing radiation therapy indications and extend radiation therapy for additional indications.
“The Christie has a history of innovation in the use of advanced imaging technologies to improve the delivery of radiotherapy,” said Dr. Ananya Choudhury, Consultant and Honorary Reader, Clinical Oncology at The Christie “Our team has a number of visionary leaders in medical physics, MR imaging, radiotherapy and clinical oncology. We are really excited to be part of this global effort to bring the potential of MR-linac to The Christie and improve outcomes for our patients.”
Professor Corinne Faivre-Finn, Honorary Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Professor of Thoracic Radiation Oncology, is Tumor Site Group lead for lung cancer in Elekta’s Global Research Consortium. She added: “The vision is that MR-adapted radiotherapy will allow individualized and intensified treatment of patients with lung cancer, leading to improved local control and survival with no increase in toxicity. Currently, MR imaging is not used routinely for radiotherapy planning in lung cancer. Therefore, ongoing research is focusing on MR sequences that can be used for radiotherapy planning and the evaluation of radiotherapy plans in the presence of a magnet. The group is developing clinical studies in a number of patient groups who currently have a poor outcome after radiotherapy treatment. Although The Christie will be leading on lung cancer research within the Elekta consortium, we anticipate that MR-linac will be used to treat patients with a wide range of cancers.”
Elekta and its global collaborators overcame significant engineering hurdles to demonstrate the feasibility of the MR-linac technology. Previously, experts in the field thought it nearly impossible to combine MRI and linear accelerator devices because the powerful magnets used in MRI could interfere with radiation beams.
“We are excited to initiate the installation of our sixth MR-linac system, and are on track to complete installation at all seven consortium sites,” said Kevin Brown, Elekta’s Global Vice President of Scientific Research. “Radiation therapy is a critical component of lung cancer treatment, and we believe that MR-linac will enable more effective delivery of radiation to lung tumors while sparing healthy lung tissue and other nearby organs. Our global consortium is exceptionally positioned to generate the data and protocols that will support the use of MR-linac in lung cancer and other cancer indications.”
“As a leader in digital MRI technologies and image-guided therapy solutions, we have been working hard with Elekta and consortium partners such as The Christie to meet a set of ambitious milestones,” said Rob Cascella, CEO of the Diagnosis and Treatment businesses at Royal Philips. “With excellent progress in the MR-linac installations and validation of the technology, plus a global increase in the use of MRI for radiotherapy planning, our journey to make a positive difference in cancer care is gaining great momentum.”
Elekta’s MR-linac is a work in progress and not available for sale or distribution.
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Elekta (NSE:EKTAb) is a human care company pioneering significant innovations and clinical solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders. The company develops sophisticated, state-of-the-art tools and treatment planning systems for radiation therapy, radiosurgery and brachytherapy, as well as workflow enhancing software systems across the spectrum of cancer care. Stretching the boundaries of science and technology, providing intelligent and resource-efficient solutions that offer confidence to both health care providers and patients, Elekta aims to improve, prolong and even save patient lives.
Today, Elekta solutions in oncology and neurosurgery are used in over 6,000 hospitals worldwide. Elekta employs around 3,600 employees globally. The corporate headquarters is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company is listed on NASDAQ Stockholm. Website: www.elekta.com.
About Royal Philips
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. The company, headquartered in the Netherlands, is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips’ health technology portfolio generated 2015 sales of EUR 16.8 billion and employs approximately 69,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at www.philips.com/newscenter.
About The Christie
The Christie opened in 1901 and is now one of Europe’s leading cancer centers and the largest single-site centre in Europe. It has one of the largest radiotherapy departments in the world as well as centers in Oldham and Salford. It also houses the UK’s largest brachytherapy service. The Christie delivers chemotherapy treatment through the largest chemotherapy unit in the UK, as well as via 10 other sites, a mobile chemotherapy unit and in patients’ homes. We are ranked as the 9th most technologically advanced cancer center in the world and the top center outside North America. The Christie’s NIHR Clinical Research Facility is a large, high quality, dedicated clinical research environment where our patients can participate in complex and early phase clinical trials. Around 600 clinical trials may be taking place at any one time. We are also one of seven partners in the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, one of only six health science centers in the country. New developments include the UK’s first NHS high energy proton beam therapy service, due to start treating patients in 2018. The Christie was selected to deliver this specialist treatment, along with University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Currently patients have to travel to America or Switzerland for this treatment. The Christie’s School of Oncology provides undergraduate education, clinical professional and medical education - the first of its kind in the UK.