100th MRIdian Patient | News | Loyola Medicine
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

100th Patient Receives Final Cancer Treatment With MRI-guided Radiation at Loyola Medicine

Loyola is the only Illinois health system offering MRIdian by Viewray® radiation therapy, providing precise, high-dose radiation with fewer treatment sessions and side effects, better outcomes

Image of 100th patient and Loyola care team

MAYWOOD, IL.—Loyola Medicine recently celebrated its 100th patient to complete cancer treatment with the MRIdian by Viewray® radiation therapy system, a novel treatment that utilizes MRI-guided radiation to precisely treat cancerous tumors, typically with fewer treatment sessions and side effects, and better outcomes.

Carol Potrawski, 75, received the last of her five MRIdian treatments at the Loyola Medicine Center for Cancer Care & Research at Loyola's Radiation Oncology Center in Orland Park, Illinois, successfully concluding her treatment for an early stage breast cancer. Mrs. Potrawski was diagnosed earlier this year, and following a lumpectomy, received radiation treatments. 

With traditional radiation therapy, CT scans are taken before each session to aid clinicians in aligning the radiation beam for treatment. However, this type of imaging does not take into account the normal daily adjustments and functions of the body, such as breathing, nor the clear visualization and tracking of soft tissues. As a result, radiation oncologists must expand the radiation area to account for motion and potential uncertainties to ensure that the entire tumor (or the area where the tumor was removed) receives treatment. Unfortunately, the larger, traditional radiation beam can damage nearby healthy tissue.

With the MRIdian system, “we can clearly see the targeted area and its range of motion without any significant uncertainty,” said Tamer Abdelrhman, MD, PhD, Loyola Medicine associate professor of radiation oncology, MRI-guided radiation therapy program director, and the medical director of the Radiation Oncology Center at the Loyola Medicine Center for Cancer Care & Research at in Orland Park. “With MRI-guided radiation therapy (MRgRT), we are able to vary the plan every day and create a new radiation therapy plan—while the patient is on the treatment table—delivering an optimal dose of radiation to the cancerous area while sparing nearby healthy organs and tissue. This advanced treatment approach is named Real-Time Online Adaptive Radiation Therapy, or ROAR.” 

Because the MRIdian procedure allows for a higher level of radiation, most early stage breast cancer patients require just five treatment sessions, versus four to five weeks with standard, whole-breast therapy. The entire process is painless and typically takes between 20 and 30 minutes per session. As the technology provides high-quality soft tissue definition, it is optimal for visualizing and treating tumors in the prostate, pancreas, liver, breast, lungs and other organs.

Loyola Medicine is the only health system in Illinois to offer the MRIdian treatment.

Following Mrs. Potrawski’s final radiation treatment at Loyola (she received treatment at another radiation machine, prior to the MRIdian sessions), she struck the gong, a tradition for patients completing cancer treatment at Loyola. As the 100th patient to complete MRIdian treatment, she and her medical team also celebrated with balloons and cake. Mrs. Potrawski says she looks forward to resuming her active life with her three grown children – two sons and one daughter – and four grandchildren, all of whom live within minutes of her home.

“I’m happy to be done,” said Mrs. Potrawski, a life-long resident of the South Side of Chicago, who moved to Lockport five years ago to be closer to her family. “I can’t say enough about the exceptional care and treatment I received at Loyola. Everyone was fantastic.”

For more information on MRIdian radiation therapy or the Loyola Center for Cancer Care and Research, please call 888-584-7888, or visit Loyola’s Radiation Oncology Center web page.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 94 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 133,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.