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Massey is first cancer center between Pennsylvania and Florida to treat patients with MRI-guided radiation therapy

Massey is one of only 50 hospitals around the world to have an MRI-guided linear accelerator.


Massey's new MRI-guided linear accelerator Massey's new MRIdian MRI-guided linear accelerator provides real-time imaging — enabling doctors to develop a more targeted treatment plan and avoid unnecessary radiation exposure. (Photo: View Ray, Inc.)

By Blake Belden

VCU Massey Cancer Center is the first cancer center in Virginia to offer MRI-guided radiation therapy for cancer patients, providing a novel treatment option for patients with difficult-to-treat solid tumors, such as those of the prostate, lung, pancreas and liver.

With implementation of View Ray, Inc.’s MRIdian MRI-guided linear accelerator, Massey providers can direct radiation at cancers with even more pinpoint accuracy, sparing nearby healthy tissue and organs. Along the Atlantic coast, Massey is the only location between Pennsylvania and Florida to offer this therapy.

“This new and unique technology is a very exciting and innovative radiation treatment approach that suggests the potential for higher cure rates with less toxicity,” said Douglas Arthur, M.D., chair of radiation oncology and associate director for clinical affairs at VCU Massey Cancer Center. “Offering this for our patients sets Massey apart from other cancer centers in the state and the region.”

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) together with radiation therapy, MRI-guided radiotherapy can help oncologists personalize and adapt a patient’s treatment plan in ways they could not before, creating an entirely new treatment mode in the field of radiation oncology.

The MRIdian system gives oncologists immediate anatomic visualization of the tumor through high-quality, real-time images, enabling doctors to develop a more targeted radiation therapy plan while the patient is in position and on the treatment table. This combination allows physicians to define tight treatment margins to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure to nearby organs and allows the delivery of radiation doses in five or fewer treatment sessions, without relying on implanted markers.

“As a leader in oncology, we are excited to add the MRIdian system to our treatment services for cancer patients, particularly those patients who may not have previously had viable treatment options,” said Elisabeth Weiss, M.D., radiation oncologist at Massey. “We selected MRIdian for its unique offering of real-time tissue tracking and automatic beam control, as well as its extensive clinical evidence as an effective therapeutic option. This will allow us to offer even more personalized high-precision treatments as well as improved quality of life for our patients. With this new equipment, we can continue to lead the way through cutting-edge cancer care in Virginia and throughout the southeast.”

Approximately 18,000 cancer patients have been treated with MRIdian worldwide. Currently, 50 MRIdian systems are installed at hospitals around the world, where they are used to treat a wide variety of solid tumors and are the focus of numerous ongoing research efforts. MRIdian has been the subject of hundreds of peer-reviewed publications, scientific meeting abstracts and presentations.

The availability of this treatment option at Massey coincides with the recent opening of VCU Health’s Adult Outpatient Pavilion, a state-of-the-art, 17-story building that consolidates 26 specialties under one roof, including the majority of Massey’s outpatient oncology services in downtown Richmond. Offering patients world-class comfort, convenience and technology, this new facility further advances Massey’s position as a leader in cancer care.

For more information, please visit MRI-guided radiation at VCU Massey Cancer Center

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