The future of MRI in radiation therapy: Challenges and opportunities for the MR community

Rosie J Goodburn*, Marielle E P Philippens, Thierry L Lefebvre, Aly Khalifa, Tom Bruijnen, Joshua N Freedman, David E J Waddington, Eyesha Younus, Eric Aliotta, Gabriele Meliadò, Teo Stanescu, Wajiha Bano, Ali Fatemi-Ardekani, Andreas Wetscherek, Uwe Oelfke, Nico van den Berg, Ralph P Mason, Petra J van Houdt, James M Balter, Oliver J Gurney-Champion

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Radiation therapy is a major component of cancer treatment pathways worldwide. The main aim of this treatment is to achieve tumor control through the delivery of ionizing radiation while preserving healthy tissues for minimal radiation toxicity. Because radiation therapy relies on accurate localization of the target and surrounding tissues, imaging plays a crucial role throughout the treatment chain. In the treatment planning phase, radiological images are essential for defining target volumes and organs-at-risk, as well as providing elemental composition (e.g., electron density) information for radiation dose calculations. At treatment, onboard imaging informs patient setup and could be used to guide radiation dose placement for sites affected by motion. Imaging is also an important tool for treatment response assessment and treatment plan adaptation. MRI, with its excellent soft tissue contrast and capacity to probe functional tissue properties, holds great untapped potential for transforming treatment paradigms in radiation therapy. The MR in Radiation Therapy ISMRM Study Group was established to provide a forum within the MR community to discuss the unmet needs and fuel opportunities for further advancement of MRI for radiation therapy applications. During the summer of 2021, the study group organized its first virtual workshop, attended by a diverse international group of clinicians, scientists, and clinical physicists, to explore our predictions for the future of MRI in radiation therapy for the next 25 years. This article reviews the main findings from the event and considers the opportunities and challenges of reaching our vision for the future in this expanding field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2592-2608
Number of pages17
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Volume88
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Oliver J. Gurney‐Champion is supported by KWF Kankerbestrijding (Dutch Cancer Society) grant KWF‐UVA 2021‐13785. Ralph P. Mason is in part supported by National Institutes of Health P30 CA142543. NKI (Petra van Houdt), ICR (Uwe Oelfke, Rosie Goodburn, Wajiha Bano and Andreas Wetscherek) and UMC Utrecht (Marielle E.P. Philippens, Nico van den Berg and Tom Bruijnen) are part of the Elekta MR‐Linac Research Consortium. Joshua Freedman is an employee of Elekta. David. E.J. Waddington is supported by the Cancer Institute NSW (ECF/1015). Andreas Wetscherek and Uwe Oelfke are supported by a Cancer Research UK programme grant (C33589/A28284). We thank Dr. Joan Chick (The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust) for providing medical images used in the figures.

Funding Information:
information Cancer Institute NSW, Grant/Award Number: ECF/1015; Cancer Research UK, Grant/Award Number: C33589/A28284; KWF Kankerbestrijding, Grant/Award Number: KWF-UVA 2021-13785; National Institutes of Health, Grant/Award Number: P30 CA142543Oliver J. Gurney-Champion is supported by KWF Kankerbestrijding (Dutch Cancer Society) grant KWF-UVA 2021-13785. Ralph P. Mason is in part supported by National Institutes of Health P30 CA142543. NKI (Petra van Houdt), ICR (Uwe Oelfke, Rosie Goodburn, Wajiha Bano and Andreas Wetscherek) and UMC Utrecht (Marielle E.P. Philippens, Nico van den Berg and Tom Bruijnen) are part of the Elekta MR-Linac Research Consortium. Joshua Freedman is an employee of Elekta. David. E.J. Waddington is supported by the Cancer Institute NSW (ECF/1015). Andreas Wetscherek and Uwe Oelfke are supported by a Cancer Research UK programme grant (C33589/A28284). We thank Dr. Joan Chick (The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust) for providing medical images used in the figures.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

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