The radiation therapy department at Turku University Hospital (TYKS) has been home to a Philips Ingenia MR-RT 1.5T since January 2016. This Ingenia is a workhorse for the department, as about 60% of the MRI scans performed are to aid in planning the hospital’s 1,600 radiotherapy patients per year, with cardiac and emergency diagnostic scans making up the balance. Approximately one in five of the radiotherapy cases are prostate cancer patients and for those, MRI simulation is part of the standard clinical care.
In its traditional CT-MRI simulation and planning workflow, Ingenia has been invaluable for its superb, tunable soft-tissue contrast, particularly for planning prostate cancer cases, according to Prof. Heikki Minn, MD, Radiation Oncologist at TYKS.
“For prostate visualization, the high soft tissue contrast that MRI provides is very important,” he says. “Without it, we wouldn’t be able to distinguish the gland from the pelvic muscles and fat surrounding it. That would make it difficult to delineate the prostate and other nearby tissues. We see that our clinical target volume (CTV) for prostate is typically smaller for MRI-based planning, which can help decrease toxicity to the rectum and bladder.
The value of MRI for radiotherapy planning drove the acquisition of the Ingenia for the radiotherapy department. “We wanted to have an MRI in our own department instead of having to use the radiology department’s system, so we can assure our patients get MRI access when it’s feasible for our workflow,” Dr. Minn says.
“Using MR-only simulation and planning would give us a ‘onestop- shop’ workflow for imaging, contouring and planning of radical radiotherapy for patients with prostate cancer,” he says. “Therefore, we began the commissioning process for MR-only simulation immediately in the same month that we began using our Ingenia.”