Medical breakthrough a boon for cancer care

Sharon Basaraba - 15 December 2022

Patient trials begin for revolutionary imaging & treatment technology

X-rays reveal dense matter in the body, such as broken bones and solid tumours. But X-rays of tumours in soft tissue, such as those in the lung, breast, or prostate, are often ill-defined and hazy.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MR) improves the ability to see cancer tumours clearly. After the target is identified, however, moving patients from an MR machine to a linear accelerator (Linac) for X-ray radiation treatment creates a new problem, as tumours in soft tissue often shift during movement.

Medical physicist Dr. Gino Fallone thought of combining the two technologies — MR and a Linac which delivers therapeutic radiation — to track and treat a tumour in real time. Radiation is capable of destroying cancer, while MR provides increased visibility.

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