STOCKHOLM, August 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Elekta (EKTA-B.ST) announced today that five leading cancer research centers joined with the seven founding members of the Elekta MR-linac Consortium to share research and discuss clinical trial plans for Elekta's MR-linac system. The 10th annual consortium meeting was held in Amsterdam at The Netherlands Cancer Institute. The consortium is a global research partnership established in 2012 to help bring MR/RT to the clinic and transform the use of radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer.
The founding members of the Elekta MR-linac Consortium are: University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands (UMCU); The Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas; the Institute of Cancer Research, working with its clinical partner The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, England; Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Clinical Cancer Center at Froedtert Hospital, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK and the Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.
Clinicians and scientists from the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada; Odense University Hospital, Denmark; Tübingen University Hospital, Germany; Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden; and William Beaumont Hospital, United States also participated in this year's consortium meeting.
Elekta's MR-linac is the only MR/RT system that integrates a high-field (1.5 Tesla) MR scanner, from MR technology partner Philips, with an advanced linear accelerator and intelligently-designed software. The system is expected to deliver precisely targeted radiation doses while simultaneously capturing highest-quality MR images, which will allow clinicians to visualize tumors and surrounding normal tissue at any time and adapt the treatment accordingly. Elekta introduced the MR-linac technology under the name of Elekta Unity during the ESTRO congress in Vienna, Austria in April 2017.
"The 10th Consortium meeting demonstrated the high collaborative capacity of our consortium across different disciplines and geographies," said Kevin Brown, Elekta's Global Vice President of Scientific Research. "We are gratified that the consortium continues to generate data that demonstrates the technical functionality and clinical utility of our MR-linac system and expect that the input from the additional sites will further expand the robust body of evidence supporting MR/RT as a transformative approach to radiation therapy."
"The development of MR-linac has truly been a global effort, and the participation of clinicians and scientists from five additional cancer centers in this year's meeting has underscored the value of including insights from a broad array of experts," said Christopher Schultz, MD, FACR, Medical College of Wisconsin Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology, at the Froedtert & MCW Cancer Network and Chair of the Elekta MR-linac Consortium. "As MR-linac advances toward the clinic, we will continue to seek input from radiation oncologists, medical physicists and imaging experts around the world. We believe that this broad and inclusive approach is the most effective way to ensure that our vision for MR/RT meets the needs of patients, physicians, and cancer care centers."
Key discussion points of the Consortium meeting were:
- Planning pre-clinical and clinical studies to establish the added value of MR/RT in specific tumor types and cancer indications. These include indications commonly treated with radiation therapy as well as cancer types for which radiation therapy is not typically used due to difficulties in discriminating between the tumor and surrounding soft tissue.
- UMCU highlighted its successful first-in-man treatments on Elekta's MR-linac system and presented the accuracy results to the group.
- Updates from consortium centers on their volunteer imaging programs.
"MR-guided radiotherapy has the potential to transform the treatment of cancer by enabling more precise, adaptive tumor targeting, and we are excited about helping to bring this important advancement to patients," said Michael Milosevic, MD, Director of Research, Radiation Medicine Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Vice-Chair (Research) Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto. "The Consortium has been very effective at promoting collaborative innovation in MR-guided radiotherapy and we look forward to continuing to move this evolving area of radiation oncology and precision cancer medicine forward."
"The MR-linac consortium together with the five new centers is an impressive novel network within the radiation oncology community," said Daniel Zips, MD, Chair, Professor Radiation Oncology at Tübingen University Hospital. "Mastering the new technology towards innovation in radiation therapy requires joint efforts and combined expertise. The Tübingen group is happy to contribute to this endeavor which will bring radiation oncology to the next level."
The growing body of evidence supporting Elekta's MR-linac system as the first to truly enable MR/RT will be showcased at the 59thAmerican Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) Annual Meeting & Exhibition (July 30 - August 3, Denver) and the upcoming 2017 ASTRO Annual Meeting (September 24-27, San Diego).
To learn more, visit www.elekta.com/Unity.
Elekta Unity is a work in progress and not available for sale or distribution.
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Gert van Santen, Group Vice President Corporate Communications, Elekta AB
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