Radiation Therapy: MRIdian by Viewray | Imaging | Loyola Medicine

MRIdian by Viewray Radiation Therapy System

Overview and Facts about MRIdian by Viewray Radiation Therapy System

MRIdian by Viewray radiation therapy system is one of the latest advancements in radiation oncology. It delivers high doses of precise levels of radiation to cancerous tumors using the guidance of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Pioneered by ViewRay in 2012, this state-of-the-art system uses real-time, on-table, adaptive radiotherapy to deliver radiation directly to the targeted tumor and spare nearby normal healthy tissues.

Traditionally, CT scans are taken before radiation treatment to help clinicians map out where to align the radiation beam during sessions. This type of imaging, however, does not usually take into account the normal functions of the body such as breathing or movement in the gastrointestinal tract, which can cause the tumor and / or normal tissues and organs to move from day to day during treatment. Clinicians, therefore, radiation oncologists used to treat a larger area with radiation to ensure they do not miss the tumor. As a result, the healthy surrounding tissue are at a high risk of being damaged in the process.

The MRIdian radiation therapy system uses an online MRI during the entire radiation session. This allows clinicians to see where the tumor is throughout the radiation delivery in real time, giving them the opportunity to reshape and reposition the radiation beam as needed on daily basis.

The result is delivering targeted radiation, usually in fewer sessions, while sparing healthy surrounding tissue.

Another benefit of using an MRI over a CT scan is the MRI’s ability to offer high-quality soft tissue definition, making it easier to visualize tumors in areas like the prostate, pancreas, liver, breast, and other organs.

What to Expect with MRIdian by Viewray Radiation Therapy System

Much like traditional radiation treatments, the MRIdian radiation therapy system requires you to lie on a table throughout the session. The radiation beam is targeted to the exact location of the tumor, with the guidance of the integrated MRI; adjustments are made as needed. The delivery of radiation itself is painless, and you will not hear, see, or smell the radiation. The length of treatment varies, but generally lasts 15 to 60 minutes including the set up and verification time. The actual radiation beam on time is usually 5-10 minutes.

Side Effects and Risks of MRIdian by Viewray Radiation Therapy System

Radiation treatments may cause side effects that can vary depending on the type of cancer, location, dose of radiation, and your general health. Every person reacts differently to treatment. Side effects are typically temporary and are less likely with this daily MRI guided treatments.

The experts in radiation oncology hope that this new advancement in visualizing tumors during radiation therapy will help target the tumor with better precision, which will minimize side effects and improve treatment outcomes.