Ability to adapt daily treatment based on real-time MR imaging enables new approach to hard-to-treat cancers.

Elekta (EKTA-B.ST) has announced that Townsville Hospital in Queensland has treated the first patient in Australia using Elekta Unity MR-Linac, a magnetic resonance radiation therapy (MR/RT) system that enables personalized precision radiation therapy through real-time visualization of the tumor during treatment.

The patient was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014, which has now spread, leading to three oligometastatic lesions that are just a few centimeters from his bowel. These lesions would not typically be amenable to treatment with traditional radiation therapy because of potential damage to the very radio-sensitive bowel tissue near the lesions. However, with real-time extremely high quality, non-ionizing imaging, Elekta Unity provides the precision to deliver radiation doses that can reduce the risk of harming nearby tissue and organs while enabling more aggressive treatment. The ability to treat several small lesions with targeted radiation can reduce or eliminate the use of other agents that have systemic side effects.

“Elekta Unity is a transformative approach to treating cancer because it allows us to deliver higher doses of radiation in a shorter period of time while protecting healthy tissue,” said Dr. Alex Tan, Radiation Oncologist at Townsville Cancer Centre. “This case exemplifies the potential benefits of using Elekta Unity, because the added confidence we gain from the superior, real time soft tissue imaging allows us to increase radiation dose with an aim to improve local control, while respecting nearby organs at risk. This will advance patient care and outcomes. We are proud to be the first center in Australia to offer Elekta Unity to our patients and are excited to be at the forefront of MR/RT research and education.”

“Townsville Hospital is committed to providing patients with cutting-edge treatment and optimal care, and the addition of Elekta Unity to our arsenal positions us as a leading cancer center in Australia,” said Tony Mooney, Chair, Townsville Hospital and Health Board. “Not only does this innovative system allow us to target radiation very precisely, it also reduces the number of treatment sessions and the patients’ treatment burden while increasing our treatment capacity within the hospital system.”

Richard Hausmann, Elekta President and CEO said: “We applaud Townsville Hospital, a technology partner of Elekta’s for many years, and the government of Australia and Queensland for bringing MR/RT to the Southern hemisphere and for their continued leadership in providing cancer patients the most advanced and compassionate care available. I am proud they have chosen Elekta Unity to enable better management of hard-to-treat cancers and increase treatment options for their patients.”

Elekta Unity is a state-of-the-art MR-Linac that is redefining a new standard for personalized radiation therapy based on real-time high-resolution anatomical and biological MRI at the point-of-care. Elekta Unity combines two technologies – a high-field 1.5 Tesla (T) Philips MRI scanner and a best-in-class 7MV linear accelerator – together with breakthrough online dose replanning software. The 1.5T MRI enables pre-treatment visualization of daily patient anatomy with superior soft tissue contrast and high anatomical detail, with the benefit of zero imaging-related ionizing radiation dose to the patient. The online dose replanning software then provides the ability to reshape the treatment dose in minutes based on daily changes in shape, size and position of the tumor and surrounding healthy anatomy followed by accurate dose delivery with real-time tumor visualization.

To learn more, visit elekta.com/Unity.